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DNR Shines a Spotlight on MAEOE's Assateague Volunteers

Maryland's Outdoor & Environmental Educators
Plant Dune Grass at Assateague State Park
March 1, 2009

Photo Collage of MAEOE volunteers at Assateague State Park

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Report from Daniel Thayer
Maryland Conservations Corps Member
Assateague State Park
Maryland Park Service

On March 1, 2009, the last day of the Maryland Association of Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE) annual conference, a total of fourteen people volunteered their time planting dune grass on Assateague Island.

The MAEOE conference brought together educators from many backgrounds and facilities including public schools, science centers, aquariums and parks.

On the final day of the conference attendees had the option of going birding, kayaking, or planting dune grass. But, because of 40 mph winds and subfreezing temperatures these activities did not have as many participants as anticipated; only a fourth of the volunteers scheduled to help with the dune grass planting were able to attend.

Despite this setback, the hardy volunteers who did come out were able to plant over 2,000 American Beach Grass stalks on the dunes that were sparse of vegetation in Assateague State Park.

With the new grasses planted, the dunes will be better protected from the constant wind and wave action that are pushing the island closer to the mainland. The efforts of these volunteers will help ensure that Assateague Island will be a place for the public to enjoy for years to come.

The native beach grass culms, which the intrepid MAEOE volunteers planted, were donated by the Sussex County Department of Corrections.

Photographs courtesy of Daniel Thayer:
Top Row: Getting bundled up, Gathering supplies, Windblown but enjoying the day
Row 2: Smiling through the wind, Climbing up into the dunes, Our hardy Western Maryland folks
Row 3: Robust volunteers brave the storm, Aquarium gals dressed for the weather
Bottom Row: Nearly getting blown over, Rough surf, Carefully planting

Learn More About Assateague State Park
Learn More About Volunteering with Maryland State Parks
Learn More About Maryland Association of Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE)

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