Volunteer picking up trash
eVIP Volunteer picking up debris on Pine Lily Preserve
Lend a Hand to make a difference in your Orange County environment and community.
Spring 2021
Virtual Volunteer Opportunities
The Orange County Environmental Protection Division has enjoyed working with volunteers taking part in the new Virtual Volunteering activities. Individuals assist with cleanups and social media postings on various Green PLACE properties. Email today to request more information on the opportunities available. Volunteers can take part in one or more of the projects. See below for details on storm drain labeling, another popular activity that can be done safely. Students seeking volunteer hours will need to gain preapproval from their schools to verify the eligibility of community service hours.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
A Call Out for Volunteers
Help Big Sand Lake Label Storm Drain Inlets
Volunteer Holding storm drain label
The storm drain labels around Big Sand Lake have deteriorated and are in need of a refresh. Please email evip@ocfl.net if you'd like to help remove the old labels and install new ones. Individuals and groups of all ages are invited to assist. Complete training and materials will be provided. Together we can help to protect this important watershed in the Dr. Phillips area.
In Her Own Words
Michelle Vlahos Internship Highlight
Intern looking into microscope
My internship with the Orange County Environmental Protection Division started in September of 2020. Beginning my work with the Water Sciences program was a bit strange due to the pandemic, but it has been a wonderful experience! I have learned a great deal and have been able to do a variety of things in the lab. I have learned how to run tests on water samples, such as color and E. coli, and how to upload the data into a laboratory information management system (LIMS.) Occasionally I will pick, mount and identify midges that were collected by others on the Water Sciences team. I was even given the opportunity to go into the field to learn how to collect samples of plants and macroinvertebrates. Currently, I am working on a project which involves analyzing historical data from Kelly Park. Looking at data on the macroinvertebrate diversity of the site, I am attempting to form a hypothesis on what might have caused the numbers to look the way they do throughout the years. I am still in the process of completing my Biology degree at University of Central Florida, but I definitely plan on staying here until I graduate. This experience has been better than I could have ever imagined, and I greatly enjoy my time in the lab. I want to thank Edna Arroyo, Marcia Anderson Clark and the rest of the Water Sciences team for always being so kind to me and for teaching me so much. I will be forever grateful for this experience as it has significantly strengthened my love for this field. 
30 Years of Pollution Prevention (P2)
Planting Trees
Photo of cypress tree
What has the power to improve air quality, enhance soil quality, increase property value, and provide fruit and medicine? A tree. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, “one acre of forest absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide and puts out four tons of oxygen.” Last month, many celebrated Earth Day on April 22 and Arbor Day on April 30 and Orange County Environmental Protection Division encourages you to create a greener future by planting a tree. If you could use some ideas of native trees to plant, visit https://www.plantrealflorida.org/ or contact P2@ocfl.net to request more resources. For more information about Pollution Prevention (P2), visit Residential Environmental Initiatives
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Receive More News From EPD
Photo of EPD building
Would you like to learn more about the Orange County Environmental Protection Division (EPD)? EPD is excited to share a variety of information about events, sustainability, the Back to Nature Wildlife Refuge, regulatory updates, lake management, water quality and more! If you would like to be included on the email list, please fill out this brief sign-up form.
ONGOING ACTIVITIES
Volunteers labeling storm drain inlet
Storm Drain Labeling
Spearhead a storm drain labeling project in your community. Orange County eVIP provides all the supplies, a one-hour training session and the support to create an enjoyable and meaningful service project for your group. Please help us keep our surface water clean and our storm drains functioning properly. Great project for scout groups! 
EnviroScape Training Workshop
Learn how to use the EnviroScape Model to provide fun, hands-on watershed education presentations to youth in Orange County. Are you an educator? Once trained, classroom teachers and youth group leaders can also "check out" our education materials. One-on-one trainings can be arranged to accommodate your schedule.
Internship Program
To learn more about the program, send an email stating your interest. Internships are competitive and applications are accepted year-round. Students can earn service hours, college credit and meaningful work experience. Interns who complete a three-month unpaid internship are eligible to apply for paid internships as available.
LAKEWATCH Logo
Orange County Water-Quality Monitoring
Orange County partners with the UF/IFAS LAKEWATCH program to provide volunteers with training and equipment for water-quality testing on local lakes. Volunteers need lake access, a few hours each month to collect samples, transportation to deliver samples, a canoe or watercraft and a one-year-plus commitment to sampling. 
In-School, After-School and Summer Camp Presentations
Teachers and youth group leaders interested in watershed education can request EnviroScape presentations for their students. Presentations are approximately 25 minutes long and are scheduled throughout the academic year and summer months as schedule permits.
Community
Cleanup Kit
Is your group looking for an environmental project? eVIP has a new kit that helps individuals lead a cleanup and assist in keeping Orange County free of pollution. eVIP provides the supplies, training and support. The project is a good fit for volunteers of all ages and groups of all sizes. Educational materials will be provided as requested. 
eVIP Needs Your Help!
If you enjoyed being an eVIP volunteer, please help us get the word out through social media. You can also provide your feedback and offer ideas for improvement! Scan the QR code or click on this link to access the short survey.
If you are interested in any of the opportunities listed above, please contact the Orange County Environmental Protection Division Volunteer Coordinator 
Carrie Mohanna at Carrie.Mohanna@ocfl.net or 321-689-8232.
Orange County Environmental Protection Division
407-836-1430 | Cell 321-689-8232 | Fax 407-836-1499
3165 McCrory Place, Suite 200, Orlando, FL 32803
Serving our community by conserving, protecting and enhancing the environment for current and future generations.
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