|Some 50 + volunteers cut the tree tubes from the trees, then gathered up all the used tubes.|
Here, the park is re-foresting former farmland.
This event was organized by the Patapsco Heritage Greenway (PHG) in coordination with the state park, which is dedicated to preserving, protecting, interpreting, and restoring the environment, history, and culture of the Patapsco River Valley. In short, this organization wants the Patapsco Valley to remain pleasant for our generation and for future generations. There's a wealth of information available on PHG's web site, including some fascinating local history of the Patapsco River Valley.
|The most tiring part of the work was|
gathering all the old tubes.
My older son, who was a trifle grumpy about participating, admitted at dinner that night that he was grateful (yes, he even used that word) that he had "helped out the environment a little." How silly of me to feel as proud of him as I did that moment!! But it turned out to be a fun day, we did something out of the ordinary, we did it as a family and thus built family memories, and we helped the park a little. This is just the start to what to me is an ongoing obligation to give back to the community I live in and the park I spend so much enjoyable time at.
|Carting away all the tree tubes.|
|Volunteers grabbing vests, gloves, and bags before heading out to clean up along |
the shore of Patapsco River, along Belle Grove Avenue.
The weather was gorgeous and it was a great way to spend a Saturday morning. As a family, we learned some important lessons about caring for the environment, and we had an interesting conversation on the way home about litter, why people litter (we concluded it was carelessness -- thoughtlessness about the impact) and we got to enjoy a beautiful river in a different way than most get to do. Sadly, even as we cleaned up the area, we realized that by next year, the litter might be back. For more about ongoing efforts to help the Chesapeake Bay, click here.
|Just some of what was picked up -- this was one of two large piles of garbage |
collected from along the river by mid-morning -- and more was still being added to this pile.
On the same day that we were cleaning up the Patapsco River, 115 volunteers helped remove more than 50 bags of trash and recycling from the Potomac shoreline in Piscataway Park. Accokeek Foundation also sponsors "Service Saturdays" the first Saturday of each month, to organize volunteers helping out in with the National Colonial Farm in Piscataway Park. "The number of volunteers vary from month to month depending upon the weather and the specific project--we've had anywhere from 3 people to 23 people." Lowe said that during the first Service Saturday event, in November, volunteers helped harvest the "leftover" crops on the Ecosystem Farm.
So if you have a favorite park and find yourself going there again and again, consider giving some of your time to help the park out. You may find, as I did, that doing that is as rewarding as going on a hike or bikeride in that park!
Hours: Based on the activity planned for that day.
Dogs: Not on volunteer days!
Eats: Pack snacks or a picnic to keep your energy up while volunteering!