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Helping Our Rural Citizens on Earth Day and Everyday

USDA NRCS and local officials plant a tree.  Earth Day, April 22, was founded by former U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin and was first celebrated in 1970. Earth Day continues to be celebrated throughout the country.

USDA NRCS and local officials plant a tree. Earth Day, April 22, was founded by former U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin and was first celebrated in 1970. Earth Day continues to be celebrated throughout the country.

Earlier this week, to help kick-off USDA Rural Development’s celebration of Earth Day, I joined with Undersecretary Dallas Tonsager in announcing support for more than 50 USDA Rural Development projects that will help improve water and wastewater systems and provide energy efficiency system upgrades to local  communities across the country.

What does this really mean? In rural towns and communities from North Middletown, Kentucky, to Sturgis, South Dakota, the Obama Administration and USDA Rural Development are helping to provide running water to homes and businesses, allowing residents to have safe drinking water for cooking and washing dishes; sanitary wastewater disposal systems so creeks, roads and backyards aren’t polluted; and energy efficiency improvements to save energy, reduce costs and decrease our use of non-renewable resources.

As Deputy Undersecretary for Rural Development, I see every day the essential services our Water and Wastewater program provides to communities – to real people and to real places. Earth Day is a great opportunity to highlight the critical role USDA Rural Development can play to improve the environment and quality of life in rural America.

Forty-one years ago, a small group of dedicated citizens decided to take action to make their local communities cleaner and healthier, and from this spirit, Earth Day was born. Since then countless Americans have made a positive impact on our planet, and now President Obama is calling on all of us to pitch in.

So I urge you to use today to think about what you can do in your daily life to support preservation and restoration of our natural resources and make a positive impact to our environment.

To find out more about how you can join USDA in observing Earth Day click here. To learn more about the history of Earth Day, click here.

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