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September 13, 2013

DNR to Host Day to Serve Projects September 15-29

by Martha

Volunteers needed to help with State Park Cleanups Sept. 28 & 29

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is participating in the multi-state Day to Serve Feed the Hungry and Heal the Planet volunteer effort. From September 15-29, the agency is hosting a number of service projects, from a statewide food drive to State Park cleanups, to give Marylanders the opportunity to help their fellow citizens and their natural world. 

“Starting September 15th, we’ll work together as a community ─ as Marylanders and Virginians, West Virginians and Washingtonians ─ to harness the incredible power of service,” Governor Martin O’Malley said. “Marylanders are a compassionate, generous people who know the way forward can be found by helping our neighbors in need. For the second year in a row, we encourage all our citizens to join us in recognizing the connections between the health of our people, and the health of our land, water and air. Together, we can eradicate hunger, and protect and restore our environment.”

DNR is calling on Marylanders to donate non-perishable food items at Natural Resources Police (NRP) Area offices ─ or use them to Fill the Canoe at the Tawes building in Annapolis ─ every day during regular business hours throughout the two-week initiative. NRP Officers are also encouraging participants to help them Stuff the Police Cruiser with these goods on September 18 out front of Tawes. All donations go to the Annapolis Light House shelter and area food banks.

As part of Day to Serve, and in celebration of National Public Lands Day, State Parks will be hosting family-friendly park cleanups on September 28 and 29 and other outdoor restoration projects. Volunteers are needed to perform a variety of tasks including clearing trails, planting trees, removing trash and invasive plants, and cleaning up waterways. This year honors the 20th anniversary of this effort to improve and protect the nation’s natural resources.

Participating Maryland State Parks include:

A team of family and friends taking part in a trail cleanup at New Germany State Park.

A team of family and friends taking part in a trail cleanup at New Germany State Park.

Saturday, September 28─ Assateague; Dan’s Mountain; Elk Neck; Gunpowder Falls; Patapsco Valley; Smallwood; Tuckahoe; and Washington Monument.

Sunday, September 29─ Cunningham Falls; Fort Frederick; Herrington Manor/Swallow Falls; Rocky Gap; and Susquehanna State Parks; and the Youghiogheny River.

The Maryland Park Service asks that participants call the park in advance to register and see what they should bring. Recommended items include beverages/water, lunch or a snack, insect repellant and gloves. Volunteers should wear comfortable clothing to get dirty in, and boots or sneakers. Click here for times, activities details and more information. More information on National Public Lands Day is available at publiclandsday.org.

In 2012, Day to Serve was a huge success in Maryland, with more than 4,700 volunteers contributing more than 12,000 hours to 200 service events. The 2013 Day to Serve event will surpass 2012’s success – as 275 events are already scheduled. During the two-week initiative, Marylanders, along with their neighbors in Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C., will participate in hunger relief, environmental relief, community service and other projects. For information on how to participate in Day to Serve, or to find other projects, visit daytoserve.org.

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