DNR Hosts More Than 50 Day to Serve Events
Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) staff, in coordination with citizen groups and other agency partners, hosted and participated in more than 50 events as part of the multi-state Day to Serve Feed the Hungry and Heal the Planet volunteer effort. Through this two-week September initiative, more than 300 DNR employees volunteered in service projects ranging from food drives to park cleanups that helped their fellow Marylanders and their natural world.
“I am heartened that we united to make this year’s Day to Serve an overwhelming success,” said DNR Secretary Joseph Gill. “Whether you donated your time, talents or services, I want to thank everyone who worked to make our State better and stronger. With the holidays fast approaching I encourage everyone to keep the momentum going and continue to give back to one another and Mother Earth.”
DNR employees, including Natural Resources Police officers and State Park and Forest staff created events across Maryland and called on citizens, civic groups and other agencies to help them get the job done. It was only through the participation of volunteers and local organizations such as West/Rhode RiverKeeper; Worcester Volunteer Fire Department; and the Maryland Department of General Services that the events were so successful.
To Feed the Hungry, Natural Resource Police barracks served as food drop-off locations, and DNR’s Annapolis office hosted Fill the Canoe and Stuff the Patrol Cruiser food drives. The Maryland Forest Service also teamed up with area fire departments to host Put out the Fire of Hunger – Fill a DNR Fire Dozer events in Cambridge, Hagerstown and Marriottsville.
All in all, the department was able to collect one ton ─ 2,000 pounds ─ of food for the Annapolis Light House shelter and area food banks thanks to citizens’ overwhelming generosity.
To help Heal the Earth, DNR staff, along with Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts and a college fraternity, planted 450 trees at Patapsco Valley State Park. DNR and the Maryland Department of General Services hosted a trash clean-up at Wilson Park in Galesville, home of the historic Hot Sox Field where Negro League Baseball was played.
The Maryland Park Service also hosted park cleanups and plantings across the State. The department was able to plant a total of nearly 500 trees at area parks and schools thanks to the hard work of selfless volunteers. Additionally, DNR Forest staff, in cooperation with the Garrett County Community Action Fuel Assistance Program, collected fallen limbs along forest access trails and roads and delivered them as firewood to neighbors in need.
In 2012, more than 4,700 Marylanders contributed around 12,000 volunteer hours to 200 Day to Serve events. This year, Maryland hosted more than 420 events ─ with around 1,200 taking place in the region. During the two-week initiative, Marylanders, along with their neighbors in Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C., participated in hunger relief, environmental enhancement, community service and other projects. For information on Day to Serve, visit daytoserve.org.