Apprentice Ecologist Initiative

Organization Name:
Nicodemus Wilderness Project
City & State:
Describe your creative piece – what is it and what has it been used for, and why is it innovative?
The Apprentice Ecologist Initiative™ (officially recognized by the U.S. EPA) has engaged thousands of young people (kids, teens, and college-age youth) from around the world in environmental cleanup and conservation projects. To provide a novel and dynamic web-based platform from which to display photos and essays of Apprentice Ecologists from around the world, we developed our base website design and php-based photo-essay design in 2005 using our donated Adobe Dreamweaver software. The URL is: Our most recent Apprentice Ecologist award winner sums up the essence of our program: "Overall, this has been the most satisfying endeavor of my life -- working on these projects not only benefits the environment and helps spread awareness, but I have also learned a lot about the power of one’s voice to make a stand against global warming and to generate change in a community."
What issue or problem were you working to address with this piece?
The Apprentice Ecologist Initiative was launched because of the need for environmental restoration, stewardship, and protection of neglected public lands. Our organization coordinates volunteer events worldwide that utilize the resources of the community to provide long-term environmental benefits for natural areas. We have established a large and enthusiastic youth volunteer network that draws upon the diverse strengths of different races and cultures to accomplish our common goal of restoring the beauty of the natural landscape. By working together with our community, the Nicodemus Wilderness Project educates our youth about the need to protect the integrity of the environment by promoting stewardship of the wild lands and waters that support Earth's biodiversity and ecosystems.
How has your submission successfully impacted your organization’s ability to solve this issue/problem?
Our donated Adobe Dreamweaver software has allowed us to successfully launch and manage our global youth Apprentice Ecologist Initiative. Since its online inception in 2005, we have elevated youth into leadership roles by engaging them in environmental cleanup and conservation projects, empowered young volunteers to rebuild the environmental and social well-being of our communities, and improved local living conditions for both citizens and wildlife through education, activism, and action. As of May 12, 2010, our impact has been: Youth Volunteers: 17,781, Hours Volunteered: 119,213, U.S. Dollar Value of Volunteer Time*: $ 2,325,845, Area Restored for Native Wildlife: 11,616 (hectares): 28,704 (acres), Trash Removed/Recycled from Environment: 127,192 (kg): 280,411 (lbs), Native Trees Planted: 83,648, Countries Represented: 131, Registered Members: 6,330, Photo Essays: 531, Views: 999,581