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At 100 Years Old, Patapsco Celebrates with Friends
Volunteer Group Throws Anniversary Bash for Maryland’s First State Park
ELKRIDGE – On Monday, June 4, 2007, the Friends of Patapsco Valley State Park, Ltd. (FPVSP), a non-profit volunteer group, will commemorate the park’s centennial by hosting a fundraiser gala at the historic Elkridge Furnace Inn in Elkridge, Maryland. Joining them will be a number of distinguished guests, including Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Secretary John R. Griffin, Senator James N. Robey (D-Dist. 13), and descendants of benefactor John Glenn, as well as descendants of Fred W. Besley, Maryland’s first state forester.
The centennial gala will begin at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $50 and a portion of the ticket price is tax deductible. All proceeds will benefit The FPVSP, which is working to help beautify, preserve and protect Patapsco Valley State Park and its rich history.
For 100 years Patapsco Valley State Park’s woods, fields, trails and waterways have provided recreation and respite to millions of park visitors. Patapsco came into being when Catonsville resident John Glenn donated his Hilton estate to the Maryland Forestry Board on June 4, 1907. This parcel of land was known as the Patapsco Forest Reserve which eventually became Patapsco Valley State Park, Maryland’s first state park. Through the decades, the 43-acre park expanded to its current size of 16,000 acres which follows 32 miles of the Patapsco River, stretching from Baltimore City to Carroll County and offering five separate recreation areas.
Paul Farragut, president of FPVSP, notes that their organization has been especially busy over the past two years gearing up for this anniversary. “We have made improvements throughout the park, with a lot of effort dedicated to restoring the visitor center.”
Initially established in 1997, FPVSP formed to restore an historic 19th century iron worker’s house (circa 1830) and convert it into the Avalon Visitor Center. Since the center opened in 2000, it has served as an informational resource, promoting stewardship and interpretation of the park’s history.
“Our list of projects is not limited by our drive or enthusiasm, only by budget and support,” says Farragut. “We are always looking for opportunities to raise funds and bring in more volunteers. With strong support from the community, we can do more to help Patapsco, 100 years old and counting.”
To learn more about volunteer opportunities or the centennial gala, please write to Paul Farragut, 8020 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City, Maryland, 21043, or call (410) 410-461-2569. To learn more Patapsco Valley State Park, visit http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/publiclands/central/patapscovalley.html
May 30, 2007
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 446,000 acres of public lands and 18,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov