LINCOLN, Neb., April 19, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An innovative partnership with VolunteerMatch.org and support from Toyota has allowed the Arbor Day Foundation to launch an interactive and easy-to-use database for locating conservation-minded volunteer opportunities in all 50 states.
The arbordaynow.org Volunteer Center is a section of the Arbor Day Foundation website that matches volunteers with local activities in search of volunteers. Interested participants can type in their ZIP code to see a list of tree planting and conservation-oriented opportunities in their area. Details about the work and how to sign up are included. Volunteers can track hours of service on the site and qualify for various premiums that will be announced at a later date.Arbordaynow.org has already engaged tens of thousands of people in tree planting and conservation this spring. Earlier this month, more than 50,000 online voters selected five campuses as winners in a contest for $1,000 from the Arbor Day Foundation to plant trees and recruit new volunteers for campus sustainability. The winning campuses, in order of most votes, were Virginia Tech, the University of Rochester, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, the University of Nevada–Las Vegas and American University. Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday in April, which this year falls on the 27th and is an ideal time for volunteering. Earth Day is celebrated Sunday, April 22. "Giving back to our communities through volunteering is a great way to celebrate Arbor Day this spring," said John Rosenow, founder and chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. "This exciting new resource makes it easy to find an activity that's right for you." Americans have been planting trees on Arbor Day since 1872. Nebraska City, Nebraska, resident, civic leader and agriculturist J. Sterling Morton urged Nebraskans to "set aside one day to plant trees, both forest and fruit." The tree-planting holiday was so popular that by 1920, more than 45 states and the U.S. territories annually celebrated Arbor Day. Today, the tree planting holiday is observed in all 50 states and in many countries around the world. About the Arbor Day Foundation: The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit conservation and education organization of one million members, with the mission to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. More information about the Foundation and its programs can be found on arborday.org, or by visiting us on Facebook, Twitter, or our blog. About VolunteerMatch: VolunteerMatch strengthens communities by making it easier for good people and good causes to connect. The organization offers a variety of online services to support a community of non-profit, volunteer and business leaders committed to civic engagement. Our popular service welcomes millions of visitors a year and has become the preferred internet recruiting tool for more than 80,000 nonprofit organizations. About Toyota: Toyota (NYSE: TM) established operations in the United States in 1957 and currently operates 10 manufacturing plants. Toyota directly employs nearly 30,000 in the U.S. and its investment here is currently valued at more than $18 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design. Toyota is committed to being a good corporate citizen in the communities where it does business and believes in supporting programs with long-term sustainable results. Toyota supports numerous organizations across the country, focusing on education, the environment and safety. Since 1991, Toyota has contributed over half a billion dollars to philanthropic programs in the U.S. For more information on Toyota's commitment to improving communities nationwide, visit toyota.com/philanthropy. SOURCE Arbor Day Foundation