Maryland's DNR to Host 'Day to Serve' Projects - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Maryland's DNR to Host 'Day to Serve' Projects

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MARYLAND - The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is participating in the multi-state "Day to Serve" volunteer effort kicking off Thursday.

DNR says they're hosting a number of service projects, from a statewide food drive to State Park cleanups. The agency says this will give Maryland residents the opportunity to help their fellow citizens and their nature world.

"From September 11 to the 28, we're urging Marylanders from across our state to come together and serve," said Governor Martin O'Malley. "When you choose to participate in Day to Serve you help feed the hungry, improve our neighborhoods, and clean up green spaces in and around our communities."

As part of the effort, the Maryland Natural Resources Police says they're calling on everyone to help "Fill the Canoe" with non-perishable food items at the Tawes building lobby, 580 Taylor Avenue, Annapolis. They say they are accepting items every day during regular business hours throughout the two week period. All donations go to the Annapolis Light House shelter and area food banks.  

Also through Day to Serve, and in celebration of National Public Lands Day, State Parks across Maryland are hosting family-friendly park cleanups and other restoration projects on Saturday, September 27, according to the agency. They say volunteers are needed to perform a variety of tasks including collecting litter and debris, pulling invasive plants and planting trees.

DNR says participating Maryland State Parks include: Assateague, Cunningham Falls, Elk Neck, Herrington Manor, New Germany, Newtowne Neck, Pocomoke River, Tuckahoe and Washington Monument, as well as the Western Maryland Rail Trail.

The Maryland Park Service asks that participants call the parks in advance to register and see what they should bring. DNR says recommended items include work gloves, water, snacks or lunch. Volunteers should wear comfortable clothing as well as sturdy shoes and be prepared to get dirty.

Each year since 2012, Maryland has doubled its success during "Day to Serve" according to the agency. They say with the hard work of a diverse coalition of Marylanders, from faith-based groups to social and environmental organizations, more than 20,000 volunteered in 2013. DNR says that allowed them to complete 60,000 hours of service at 456 events. Just last year, DNR says citizens planted 1,500 trees and cleaned up 1,500 bags of garbage.


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