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Volunteerism Increases In Maryland’s State Parks
New Volunteers Always Needed
ANNAPOLIS, MD — Records for 2007 indicate that volunteerism is on the rise in Maryland’s state parks, with a state-wide total of 8,956 volunteers performing a total of 176,588 hours of service. The time volunteered represents a value of more than $3.3 million to the Maryland Park Service (MPS) and Maryland’s citizens.
“We are so proud of the dedicated efforts of our parks volunteers and greatly appreciate the enthusiasm and energy they offer in educating visitors as well as maintaining and restoring state parks across Maryland,” said DNR Secretary John Griffin.
“Volunteering presents yet another opportunity to enjoy a park, as well as reconnect with friends, family and nature, all while improving preserved lands,” said Park Superintendent Nita Settina. “These volunteers are vital to the visitor’s park experience and the future of Maryland State Parks.”
The 2007 total shows an increase of over 21,000 volunteer hours from 2006. Also on the rise is the number of student volunteers and Volunteer Rangers.
“Volunteers are instrumental to park activities such as trail building and maintenance, tree planting, gardening, photography, special events staffing, office and computer work, nature program leadership, historical research, carpentry and other maintenance,” explained Roberta Dorsch, MPS Volunteer Coordinator. “Additionally, our many individual “Friends of” groups greatly serve the parks through their commitment to raising awareness, consciousness and appreciation for the protection, preservation and improvement of Maryland’s public lands.”
Maryland’s parks are also immensely benefited by volunteers who commit to becoming campground hosts, Volunteer Rangers, and members of bike and mounted patrols for their commitment to the betterment of park operations.
“We are always looking for new volunteers to serve,” added Dorsch.
Park service opportunities exist for everyone – on weekdays and weekends, for individuals as well as groups. For specific MPS volunteer opportunities and contact information, please visit http://www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/volunteer.html.
April 1, 2008
Contact: Olivia Campbell
410-260-8016 office I 410-507-7525 cell
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 449,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 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 12 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.