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May 7, 2013

MET Recognizes Volunteers at Annual Appreciation Event

by Martha

Marks 10th anniversary of volunteer program

MET Board of Trustees, staff and volunteers at Boordy Vineyard

MET Board of Trustees, staff and volunteers at Boordy Vineyard

The Maryland Environmental Trust (MET) volunteer program celebrated a decade of dedicated service and commitment to land stewardship at its annual appreciation event, held May 2 at historic Boordy Vineyards in Baltimore County. More than 30 staff, board and volunteer members enjoyed the festivities, which included lunch, wine tastings and a special tour of the vineyard, a property permanently protected by an MET easement.

“Volunteers are a vital part of our mission, making it possible for MET to inspect all of its easements on a regular basis,” said Jon Chapman, MET Stewardship Program manager. “In 2012, they contributed more than 950 hours to our organization, and monitored 148 easements on 13,800 acres throughout the State.

Senator J. B. Jennings of District 7 presented a citation on behalf of Governor Martin O’Malley to 13 long-term volunteers, and gave remarks thanking each of them for their service to MET and the State.

“MET is one of several core, statewide land protection programs that relies on volunteers to monitor its 1,050 easement properties,” said Senator Jennings. “Volunteers are critical, especially now, given the cuts to our State’s budget.”

MET Director Liz Buxton with Senator J.B. Jennings

MET Director Liz Buxton with Senator J.B. Jennings

MET takes its stewardship responsibility seriously and conducts regular inspections of protected lands to observe changes and to communicate with landowners. Its volunteers provide boots on the ground monitoring assistance as the inventory of protected lands grow, as well as enable MET staff to efficiently allocate its stewardship resources.

The volunteer program began in 2003 when MET appointed a coordinator through Volunteer Maryland. Since then, it has expanded to include 30 trained volunteers who help monitor more than 129,000 acres of protected open space throughout the State each year, and assist in the office, scanning slides, photos and other important documents. For more information on MET, visit dnr.maryland.gov/met.

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