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STUDENT CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION AND AMERICAN EXPRESS MOBILIZE EARTH DAY VOLUNTEERS IN NEW YORK CITY AND WASHINGTON, DC

WASHINGTON, April 15, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Two major forces in service, stewardship and sustainability are coming together for the first time to renew public lands and community bonds for Earth Day.



The Student Conservation Association and American Express will bring together hundreds of volunteers – including young people, American Express employees, park rangers and more – at historic outdoor sites in New York City and Washington, DC.

"With our Earth Day focus on city environments," states SCA President and CEO Jaime Berman Matyas, "SCA and American Express are strengthening the connections between urban populations and our natural world, while empowering young people from diverse backgrounds to take on leadership roles in their own communities. We are committed to advancing future volunteer initiatives that support these important objectives."

"We know parks and public lands play an important role in attracting visitors and supporting vibrant communities," said Timothy J. McClimon, president, American Express Foundation. "This Earth Day, we're thrilled to join forces with SCA to deploy volunteers to protect and revitalize some of America's treasured parks."

In New York City, more than 300 volunteers will converge on the Bronx's Van Cortlandt Park on Saturday, April 18th to plant new seedlings and clear invasive plants in cooperation with the Friends of Van Cortlandt Park. The city's third-largest park, Van Cortlandt features 14 miles of hiking trails, a cross-country running course, bike and pedestrian paths that connect to other parks and trails, a horse stable, and a house in which George Washington once slept. The project runs from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

One week later, on Saturday, April 25th, SCA and American Express will partner with the National Park Service at Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC to preserve one of capital's revered gems: the Fort Totten Civil War Defense Area. Three hundred people will close unauthorized hiking trails, revegetate damaged areas, and clear trash and debris to ensure the continued integrity of the park for all District residents and visitors. The work is scheduled to go from 9:30am to 1:30 p.m. with optional guided tours, hikes, and children's activities to follow.

These volunteer events align with American Express' recent commitment to help the Department of the Interior reach its goal of one million volunteers on public lands annually. In March, American Express announced a $5 million grant to build volunteer coalitions to preserve and sustain America's public lands.

Those wishing to participate are asked to register and find more information online at http://www.thesca.org/events.

About American Express

American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress, foursquare.com/americanexpress, linkedin.com/company/american-express, twitter.com/americanexpress and youtube.com/americanexpress.

Key links to products and services: charge and credit cards, business credit cards, travel services, gift cards, prepaid cards, merchant services, corporate card and business travel.

About the Student Conservation Association

The Student Conservation Association (SCA) is America's oldest and largest youth conservation organization. SCA transforms lives and lands by empowering young people of all backgrounds to plan, act, and lead, while they protect and restore our natural and cultural resources. Founded in 1957, its mission is to build the next generation of conservation leaders, and seven in 10 of SCA's 75,000 alumni worldwide are employed or studying in conservation-related fields. Headquartered in Washington, DC, SCA also maintains regional offices in Charlestown, NH, Chicago, IL, Houston, TX, Oakland, CA and Seattle, WA. For more, visit www.thesca.org.

A photo accompanying this release is available at:

http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=32125

CONTACT: Kevin Hamilton VP for Communications, SCA 603-543-1700, ext 1185 khamilton@thesca.org

Source:The Student Conservation Association