Nashville Clean Water Project co-founder recognized for leadership in ongoing campaign against trash.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Dec. 9, 2011 – Mark Thien, president of Envolve Strategies, Inc. and co-founder of the Nashville Clean Water Project, has been named 2011 Volunteer of the Year by National Public Lands Day.
National Public Lands Day (NLPD), America’s largest, single-day volunteer event for public lands, recognizes outstanding volunteers that go above and beyond to make their local NPLD event a success. As one of five national award recipients, Thien was selected for spearheading the Nashville Clean Water Project’s large scale eco-recovery initiative at J. Percy Priest Lake on Sept. 24, 2011.
“Mark’s dedication to National Public Lands Day exemplifies the spirit of that day,” said NPLD Program Director Robb Hampton. “His work at J. Percy Priest Lake in Nashville demonstrates the important contribution by volunteers in helping to sustain our nation’s public lands.”
Thien inspired the Nashville Clean Water Project in 2008, thereby providing Middle Tennessee corporations and residents a unique avenue for volunteering their environmental service. Percy Priest Lake is one of the most visited lakes in the country, attracting almost 7 million visitors annually many of whom leave the region polluted with trash and debris. The ongoing campaign leverages year-round volunteer and corporate support from the likes of Bridgestone Americas, Waste Management, and others, including his own Envolve Strategies, for a lasting impact on Middle Tennessee’s environment.
“This recognition is really a tribute to every volunteer and supporting business that has engaged with the initiative these past four years so I tip my hat to each of them,” Thien said. “Most people want to do good and only need a connection. I’m grateful for the recognition of our work to fill that role.”
Since encountering the pollution problem on a camping adventure in 2008, Thien has worked directly with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to manage seven large-scale recovery projects at J. Percy Priest Lake. The Nashville Clean Water Project has contributed more than $400,000 in service value represented by tens of thousands of hours from volunteers throughout the region. Two seasonal projects at Percy Priest (the first Saturday of each May, and National Public Lands Day in September) highlight the campaign’s many year-round public engagements.
The Fall 2011 event was a logistical spectacle, attracting 268 volunteers who amassed a work crew value of more than $30,000 over 1,435 volunteer hours in eight unique locations. Volunteers removed 81 tires and 1,250 trash bags totaling 104 cubic yards of waste and weighing an estimated 33,800 pounds. The project scrubbed 120 acres overall, providing focused attention on 5.1 acres of roadway and 6.5 miles of shoreline, addressing the unnatural impact of lake visitors and increasing storm water debris from surrounding communities.
About National Public Lands Day
National Public Lands Day is America’s largest, single-day volunteer event for public lands and is a program of the National Environmental Education Foundation. In 2011, more than 170,000 volunteers participated in events nationally. The Volunteer of the Year Awards recognizes outstanding National Public Lands Day (NPLD) volunteers who went above and beyond to make their local event a success. The Awards received a record number of nominations in 2011, from which five outstanding individuals were chosen for unusual dedication on NPLD and throughout the year. To learn more, visit www.publiclandsday.org. About the Nashville Clean Water Project
The Nashville Clean Water Project is a 100 percent volunteer-based community project to remove trash and debris from Middle Tennessee waterways. The Project has yielded almost $400,000 worth of volunteer service and thousands of volunteer hours to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other beneficiaries since 2008. To learn more, visit cleanpercypriest.org. About Envolve Strategies, Inc.
Envolve Strategies, Inc., is a sustainability and branding company dedicated to establishing the conservation, environmental and sustainability initiatives of mid- to large-size corporate clients nationwide. The Nashville-based company engineers profitability, environmental, social, and sustainability programs, and collaborates with environmentally-focused non-profit organizations nationwide. ###