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Maryland Conservation Corps Celebrates National Americorps Week
Unprecedented group of volunteers gather for event
ELLICOTT CITY - Members of the Maryland Conservation Corps (MCC), an AmeriCorps Program managed by the Maryland Park Service (MPS), convened today in Patapsco Valley State Park to celebrate the first annual National AmeriCorps Week, May 13-20. The MCC members were joined by colleagues from the Corporation for National & Community Service (CNCS) for a virtually unprecedented gathering of staff from both of these unique organizations.
“When the MCC program was established by Governor Harry Hughes and the General Assembly back in 1984, we believed that the restoration of the Bay would depend on the enthusiasm, commitment and stewardship of young people and volunteers to succeed,” said Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Secretary John R. Griffin during his remarks. “That need persists ever more today; and thanks to funding support from AmeriCorps, we are able to continue to engage volunteers in local communities throughout Maryland in our shared effort to restore the Bay and the State’s precious natural resources.”
Event attendees enjoyed a picnic luncheon in the park, a formal program and a tour of various MCC conservation projects on the Soapstone Branch stream valley, a tributary of the Patapsco River in Patapsco Valley State Park. Projects along the one-mile corridor include trail maintenance & condition assessment, stream corridor and biological assessment, forest buffer planting, invasive species control and trash removal.
Secretary Griffin was joined in acknowledging the achievements of the MCC program by:
- Keith Hart, Governor’s Office on Service & Volunteerism
- Kristin McSwain, Executive Director of AmeriCorps, representing the CNCS
- Marty O’Brien, The Corps Network (National Association of Conservation Corps)
- Rusty Ruszin, Acting Superintendent, Maryland Park Service
The MCC provides young adults with training and opportunities to perform a year of conservation-related service throughout Maryland. Their efforts continue the historic contribution of the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s, which built many of the recreation improvements enjoyed at Patapsco Valley State Park today.
May 14, 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