Nickelodeon showcases local environmental effortsApr 15th, 2011 | By William Dilella | Category: News
Nickelodeon’s The Big Help was on location at Docville Farm, where local students were volunteering their time to plant cypress trees, and at the same time call attention to the Gulf of Mexico and protecting its ecosystem. Nickelodeon’s campaign is part of an Earth Day tradition for the network, but they also chose Louisiana this year to call attention to the ongoing impact from the oil spill and the hurricanes.
In conjunction with the National Wildlife Federation and 4-H, students from the Leadership Development Program had helped plant over 50,000 cypress trees throughout St. Bernard Parish. The cypress tree is an integral part of the local ecosystem, providing a natural storm surge barrier for the area, habitat for wildlife, and better environment for the human population as well.
For The Big Helps first visit to Louisiana, Nickelodeon had Victoria Justice along with costars Leon Thomas and Daniella Monet of the show “Victorious” out to assist with the planting of cypress trees.
Monet said she felt honored to be part of this and working with students who displayed such passion for helping, and called for others to put in their time. “Get involved. It all helps.”
Chris Paul, star point guard of the New Orleans Hornets, was present for photos and to lend support from his CP3 Foundation, which cultivates community activity.
Paul expressed his thanks to all the student volunteers. “The most important thing is not money, it’s your time.”
The ceremony included the presentation of a check for $25,000, donated for the students’ further eco efforts, which Jaime Matyas, COO of the National Wildlife Federation was on-site for.
“[The Big Help] equips kids to make a difference, showing what they do really matters,” said Matyas, who praised the consistent efforts of the local chapter of the NWF.
Councilman Everhardt was also at Docville Farms and talked about how the entire effort started.
“It was something to bring the kids in, get the kids involved, and show them about coastal restoration, and show them how much we lose in coast…it was a project near and dear to my heart,” said Everhardt.
The students have been planting cypress trees through funding from Apache Foundation Tree Grant Program. Volunteers have been coming from as far as France and Germany, but this remains a project for St. Bernard’s youth.
“This is their land, their ground, their future.”