February e-news

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City Council commendation (1)
CISV IS COMMENDED BY JACKSONVILLE CITY COUNCIL

On Tuesday, January 24 at 5:00 pm, the Jacksonville  City Council adopted a resolution honoring CISV Jacksonville for 40 years of educating and inspiring action for a more just and peaceful world through international and local educational programs for Jacksonville youth and adults.  The resolution was sponsored by Councilman Tommy Hazouri, who remarked about CISV’s work in the community.

Leah Donelan, Delaney McClure and Lisa Taylor addressed a crowded City Council chamber about CISV Jacksonville about CISV’s history, its programs and its impact on their lives.

Many thanks to Jenny Busby, CISV leader and aide to Mr. Hazouri, Mr. Hazouri, the Jacksonville City Council and the CISV volunteers for supporting this commendation for our organization.

Click here to see the full City Council resolution

Click here for a photo album

TU: International visitors immersed in North Florida sustainability

Click here to view story from the July 29 issue of the Florida Times-Union.

PONTE VEDRA BEACH | They came to Northeast Florida to get their hands dirty.

During a whirlwind 18-day trip to learn about environmental initiatives, the 19 mostly young adults from Austria, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, Sweden, France, Portugal and Spain volunteered in a variety of ways. They built a bio-swale in Springfield, removed invasive plants at Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve and tested Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve water and sediment for marine debris and microplastic waste.

They also helped out at the Jacksonville Zoo and at two local nonprofits, learned all about the St. Johns River and land bank mitigation and Tuesday toured Gyo Greens in Ponte Vedra Beach, a small farming operation that combines traditional aquaculture with hydroponics.

“Interesting,” said Madalena Neves, 19, of Portugal, marveling at the end of the Gyo Greens tour, which included a microgreens tasting session. “I could stay here all day.”

But there were more places to go, including historic Camp Milton, where the group was to help improve the Rails to Trails pathway system. And there was more sustainability information to absorb.

The Northeast Florida visit was an International People’s Project hosted by nonprofit CISV Jacksonville, part of a worldwide volunteer organization that promotes peace, education and cross-cultural friendship. People’s Projects are designed by host cities in partnership with local organizations. They bring a group of volunteers from at least four different countries to work together on a community project along a specific theme. The local theme was exploring the environment and environmental initiatives.

Practices employed and lessons learned in one country, group members said, may benefit other countries or at least help start conversations.

Controlled burns, for instance, are used in U.S. forest management to reduce fuel buildup and decrease the likelihood of serious hotter fires. But Neves said there is no such concept in her home country of Portugal.

Experiences should be shared globally, said group member Brigitte Reisner of Austria.

“I have learned that everything is connected … everywhere,” she said.

Her husband, Johann Reisner, is a consulting engineer for agricultural engineering and water management in Austria. He said he was familiar with the global issue of microplastic waste — his outgoing emails contain the phrase “take care of microplastics” — and planned to suggest it as a topic to be studied by Engineers without Borders, of which he is a member.

Fannie Lawson of Sweden said sustainability practices should be applied worldwide.

“We have to, with what we buy, what we eat,” she said. “The whole earth is not only ours.”

At the Gyo Greens greenhouse, farm manager Jessie Berlinger had a full sustainability lesson plan ready. In aquaculture, waste produced by farmed fish or other aquatic animals supplies nutrients for plants grown hydroponically, which in turn purify the water. Less land and water is needed than in a traditional farming operation, she said, and since everything is recycled, nothing goes to waste.

Plant growth is rapid.

“Like magic,” she said, gesturing to containers of multi-colored microgreens, “Everything here will turn green this afternoon.”

Gyo Green’s specialty produce and microgreens are sold to 32 area restaurants and, except for the summer months, available to the public on a retail basis.

“We’re very busy,” she said.

IPP Update with Photos

Group Photo

IPP Group at Welcome Party

UPDATE August 2, 2016: Week 2 Wrap-Up

The second week of our International People’s Project was a rousing success!  The participants:

  • removed invasive plants from dunes in Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve
  • sampled microgreens and learned about aquaponics at Gyo Greens
  • assembled 3,000 meals at Feeding Northeast Florida
  • issued LED lightbulbs and energy audit kits to Jacksonville Northside residents with the Green Team Project
  • cleaned up Rethreaded facility for its 5th birthday party
  • volunteered at Teacher Supply Depot, which gives free school supplies to DCPS teachers
  • pruned trees at Camp Milton Historic Preserve
  • learned about civilian life during the Civil War from a reenactor, heard tall tales
  • biked the Jacksonville Baldwin Rail Trail
Click here to view great photos.

At the Farewell Party, participants shared moving stories about their experience working on these different projects.  Click here to see the article in Saturday’s Times-Union.

Thanks again to all who helped with airport rides, camp set-up, meals, and events. We will still accept donations toward food and transportation costs–click here to donate.

UPDATE July 26, 2016: Coming Up this Week & Events

Our International People’s Project is off to a great start. Our 19 volunteers from Europe, Egypt, Ecuador and the USA have sampled soil and water in the Timucuan Preserve for microplastics, visited a mitigation bank near St. Augustine, removed invasive plants and toured the Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens, built a bioswale on the S-Line trail in Springfield and enjoyed meals with CISV chapter members. Click here to learn more about the microplastics.

This week the group will volunteer at Guana Preserve, Re-threaded, Green Team Project, Teachers Supply Depot and Jacksonville Baldwin Rail Trail.

We are so grateful to all of you who have volunteered to make this IPP a success.

July 14, 2016: International Volunteer Citizen Scientists Team Up With Timucuan Preserve Partners (from Timucuan Preserve Media Release) 

Water filtration exercise

Tiny plastic particles (called microplastics by scientists) are invading our coastal environment as well as the world’s oceans.

The Jacksonville chapter of CISV, a global organization that educates and inspires action for a more just and peaceful world has brought a group of 19 volunteers from 10 countries to assist the following agencies to conduct a microplastics study:

  • National Park Service
  • St. Johns Riverkeeper
  • Timucuan Parks Foundation
  • Northeast Florida Aquatic Preserves

Collecting samples

Collecting samples

The group will collect sediment and water samples from in and around the Timucuan Preserve and then analyze the samples at the Jacksonville University Marine Science Research Institute to determine the presence of microplastics.

The experience will provide members of the group with new skills as well as an awareness of how we all impact our precious natural resources.

At the same time, they will be helping local scientists get a better idea of where microplastics are affecting our waterways and coastal areas.

Scientists have recognized that most plastics enter the ocean from the land.  Much of the plastic is from things we all use on a daily basis.  Plastic cups and soda bottles are what most of us may think of, but there are many surprising sources as well. Some personal care items such as body washes, facial scrubs and even toothpaste contain microbeads.

Sampling shot

Sampling

Dr. Maia McGuire, a Florida Sea Grant Extension agent explains the Florida Microplastics Awareness Project (FMAP).  “It is a citizen scientist project that was funded in 2015 by an outreach and education grant from NOAA’s Marine Debris Program.

The goal is to bring awareness, education and opportunity for volunteers to collect coastal water samples, filter them and look for microplastics.  The idea is to demonstrate to members of our community how plastics never biodegrade—they just break down into smaller and smaller pieces. These microplastics are then accidentally eaten by marine life, threatening their health.”

Analyzing with Microscopes

Data collected by CISV volunteers will be put into the FMAP database as well as help the National Park Service manage resources. Staff of the Timucuan Preserve, the Riverkeeper and other partners will help spread the word about how everyone can help manage this pollutant in many ways, from choosing the products they buy and use, to becoming hands-on citizen scientists.

Historic building and ranger

Superintendent of the Timucuan Preserve, Chris Hughes expressed his appreciation for this team effort and desire to expand citizen science efforts in the Timucuan Preserve and the Jacksonville community.

“It is my hope that an effort like this is the beginning of a community effort, by our local citizens, to become aware of this growing environmental issue.  Microplastics in the environment is an issue that our neighbors as citizen scientists can help us understand and hence develop strategies to protect the valuable natural and recreational resources of the Timucuan Preserve and the Jacksonville community as a whole.”

Timucuan pond site

Lisa Taylor of CISV Jacksonville Chapter echoes those same sentiments, adding: “this is a win-win situation for the local CISV chapter international volunteers and the National Park Service.”  

Meaningful learning experiences are provided to the CISV citizen scientists while at the same time making important contributions to the scientific efforts of scientists and the National Park Service missions to protect Timucuan Preserve and northeast Florida waterways and coastal natural resources we all enjoy. Our international volunteers will be in Jacksonville for 18 days exploring issues related to sustainable development and are excited to begin with this project.”

Group on Beach

 

About CISV Jacksonville

Founded in 1950, CISV (www.cisv.org) is a global organization that educates and inspires action for a more just and peaceful world through international educational programs, primarily for youth.  CISV has 1 program targeted at adults called International Peoples Project or IPP.  These are 2-3 week volunteer projects where adults (age 19+) can work on a community project organized by the local CISV Chapter.  These volunteers helping with this microplastics study are participating in CISV Jacksonville’s IPP, the only IPP being held in the USA this year.  The Jacksonville Chapter of CISV (www.cisvjax.org) was founded in 1976 and each summer sends about 50 Jacksonville youth to international camps and programs and hosts an international program here in Jacksonville.

About Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve 

The Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve is Jacksonville’s National Park. With many sites to choose from, you can find a great place to relax or learn. Visitor centers are located at Fort Caroline National Memorial, Kingsley Plantation, and the Ribault Club. There are many places to explore. For more ideas call 904.641.7155 or visit our National Park Service website at http://www.nps.gov/timu

 

IPP Teams Up With Timucuan Preserve Partners

IPP Logo

IPP Update

CISV Jacksonville is excited to host 17 international volunteers for our IPP July 15-Aug. 2. Volunteers are coming from Austria, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, Sweden, France, Portugal, and Spain.

Through the theme “Earth, Wind, Air, Fire and Heart” – IPP volunteers will explore Jacksonville’s largest urban park system in the US and will help with environmental preservation and sustainability initiatives at a variety of local organizations. Special thanks to Jacksonville University for helping make the IPP possible.

Our IPP is one of 10 across the world this summer, and the only one in the US. Click here to view other programs.

The volunteers along with JU’s Marine Science Center, the Riverkeeper and National Park Service are testing for microplastics in sediments and water at the Timucuan Preserve. The purpose of this project is to increase awareness of the global issue of marine debris and microplastics in the environment (detailed info below).

The volunteers will also:

  • learn about Florida’s land mitigation bank program with the St. John’s Water Management District
  • volunteer and learn about sustainability initiatives at the Jacksonville Zoo
  • build a bioswale on the S-Line trail in Springfield with Groundworks Jacksonville
  • remove invasive plants at the  Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve
  • visit Gyo Greens which uses a sustainable farming method combining traditional aquaculture (raising fish in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water)
  • volunteer at Re-Threaded, the local organization that offers viable and creative work to those affected by the human trafficking
  • volunteer at Teacher Supply Depot, a warehouse of donated items to be supplied free to public school teachers
  • improve the Rail to Trails at historic Camp Milton with Greenscape of Jacksonville and the City of Jacksonville Parks Department

Microplastics Project Details

Tiny plastic particles (called microplastics by scientists) are invading our coastal environment as well as the world’s oceans.  The Jacksonville chapter of CISV, a global organization that educates and inspires action for a more just and peaceful world has brought a group of 19 volunteers from 10 countries, including the United States to assist the National Park Service, the St. Johns Riverkeeper, and the Northeast Florida Aquatic Preserves conduct a microplastics study.

The group will collect sediment and water samples from in and around the Timucuan Preserve and then analyze the samples at the Jacksonville University Marine Science Research Institute to determine the presence of microplastics.  The experience will provide members of the group with new skills as well as an awareness of how we all impact our precious natural resources. At the same time, they will be helping local scientists get a better idea of where microplastics are affecting our waterways and coastal areas.  During the week of July 18 through July 20, CISV citizen volunteers will be conducting this work alongside members of the agencies mentioned.

Scientists have recognized that most plastics enter the ocean from the land.  Much of the plastic is from things we all use on a daily basis.  Plastic cups and soda bottles are what most of us may think of, but there are many surprising sources as well. Some personal care items such as body washes, facial scrubs and even toothpaste contain microbeads.  Dr. Maia McGuire, a Florida Sea Grant Extension agent is quick to tell you about the Florida Microplastics Awareness Project (FMAP).  “It is a citizen scientist project that was funded in 2015 by an outreach and education grant to bring awareness, education and opportunity for volunteer citizens to collect coastal water samples, filtering them and looking for microplastics.  The idea is to let all members of our community understand how these tiny particles never biodegrade. These microplastics are then accidentally eaten by marine life, threatening their health.  In addition, toxins from these microplastics can adhere to the body surface of marine life such as dolphins.”

The data collected by the CISV volunteers will be put into the FMAP database as well as help the National Park Service manage resources with the Timucuan Preserve.  Staff of the Timucuan Preserve, the Riverkeeper and other partner agencies will then help spread the word about how all members of the Jacksonville community can help manage this pollutant in many ways, from choosing the products they may buy and use, to becoming hands-on citizen scientists.

Superintendent of the Timucuan Preserve, Chris Hughes expressed his appreciation for this team effort and desire to expand citizen science efforts in the Timucuan Preserve and the Jacksonville community.

“It is my hope that an effort like this is the beginning of a community effort, by our local citizens, to become aware of this growing environmental issue.  Microplastics in the environment is an issue that our neighbors as citizen scientists can help us understand and hence develop strategies to protect the valuable natural and recreational resources of the Timucuan Preserve and the Jacksonville community as a whole.

Lisa Taylor of CISV Jacksonville Chapter echoes those same sentiments, adding “this is a win-win situation for the local CISV chapter international volunteers and the National Park Service.  Meaningful learning experiences are provided to the CISV citizen scientists while at the same time making important contributions to the scientific efforts of scientists and the National Park Service missions to protect Timucuan Preserve and northeast Florida waterways and coastal natural resources we all enjoy. Our international volunteers will be in Jacksonville for 18 days exploring issues related to sustainable development and are excited to begin with this project.”

About CISV Jacksonville: Founded in 1950, CISV (www.cisv.org) is a global organization that educates and inspires action for a more just and peaceful world through international educational programs, primarily for youth.  CISV has 1 program targeted at adults called International Peoples Project or IPP.  These are 2-3 week volunteer projects where adults (age 19+) can work on a community project organized by the local CISV Chapter.  These volunteers helping with this microplastics study are participating in CISV Jacksonville’s IPP, the only IPP being held in the USA this year.  The Jacksonville Chapter of CISV (www.cisvjax.org) was founded in 1976 and each summer sends about 50 Jacksonville youth to international camps and programs and hosts an international program here in Jacksonville.

WJXT Morning Show Link

WJXT

Did you see us this am on WJXT4 The Local Station? If not, check it out here

Thanks much to Jax4Kids.com for helping us secure the interview, and to Lad Daniels and chapter president Frances Hutto for representing us so well.

No World of Nations for Us

Due to a scheduling issue, we will not participate in World of Nations this year. Thanks to everyone who signed up for being willing to help. We will remove the sign-up so there is nothing more you need to do.
It is still a great event for a delegation meeting and if your delegation attends, please wear your CISV t-shirt!
Thanks again!

One Spark Media Coverage

Check out these One Spark articles written about us!

Shrinking world creates need for cross-cultural exchange

Somewhere in the city blog

We’re #22059 in ‪#‎EdSpark‬ Thanks to everyone who has helped so far. Please come see us, share and vote! bit.ly/CISVOneSpark

Junior Branch Board Application

Exciting news for JBers who are interested in being on the JB Board for next year – board applications for 2015-2016 are now available! JB Board App 2015-16

The board is the people who plan all of the junior branch events for the year, including Winter Mini Camp and service projects, and any active JB member is welcome to apply!
Applications are due April 10th to Stephanie Donelan, sdonelan@gmail.com.

Get Ready for One Spark!

One Spark!
Please click here to sign up for a shift
CISV will be at OneSpark, the world’s largest crowdfunding festival.  CISV is pleased to announce that its project “2015 International Village” will be hosted by #EdSpark at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts.We will have a great opportunity to promote our organization, recruit new members and raise money for 2015 Village.Youth and adults are asked to sign up for shifts to man our display and work the crowd at the 5 day event.  The festival is open:

Wednesday April 8- Friday April 10: 11a-9p,
Saturday, April 11: 9a -11p
Sunday, April 12: 11a -3p

Check out our Creator page (# 22059) and get ready to share with your friends! It will be a great opportunity to promote CISV, recruit new members and raise money for 2015 Village.

We would like to have a host of CISV youth and adults in their CISV T-shirts blanketing the festival and getting people to vote for CISV and visit our display in the Times Union Center at the education-focused portion of OneSpark.

CISV will be making its pitch to the festival on Saturday at 5:50 pm and would like to have a lot of kids on the pitch stage at that time.

More info:

Lisa Taylor
ltaylorcisv@gmail.com
904 646 7740

CISV’er Xander Magevney’s International Experience

Thanks to the Xander Magevney for sharing his CISV experience at St. Mark’s!

Click here for the story…

Alumni speaks about international experiences

We welcomed back Xander Magevney, ’13, this week as he spoke to students about his participation in CISV, a group founded on a belief that peace is possible through friendship – and that the real difference can be made by starting with children.

xanderbirds
Alumni, Xander Magevney, has spent a month in Norway, two weeks in Costa Rica, two weeks in Italy, and traveled to Slovenia and Croatia through his participation in CISV. During his experiences he has made lasting friendships and participated in self-directed learning exercises with peers from around the world.

DSC_3580
Xander spoke to current fifth and sixth grade students about his travels and the CISV program. “I really learned that although everyone may be different because of where we live, our culture, and our experiences, we truly are so similar as people.”

CISV is a global organization dedicated to educating and inspiring for peace through building inter-cultural friendship, cooperation and understanding. In more than 60 years CISV has given countless children and young people the experience of their lives and the opportunity to build lasting friendships through its international educational programs. CISV aims to help its participants develop the skills they need to become informed, responsible and active global citizens and make a difference in their communities and the world. The glue that underpins all of its programs is friendship, in line with its founding belief that peace is possible through friendship and mutual understanding.  CISV offers seven international programs for adults and youth, starting at age 11.

A current 8th grader at Episcopal School of Jacksonville, Xander also answered questions and gave advice about the transition from St. Mark’s to middle school. His tips included “don’t get distracted while doing homework – put your phone away, ask your teacher if you have questions, and study a few nights ahead of exams – don’t wait until the night before to cram.”

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