Now that the last of the April snow has melted and spring has finally sprung, it’s time to embrace your green thumb and do something positive for the environment.
On Saturday, April 7, volunteers from the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy will help tidy up the Gunpowder Watershed by removing trash from various sites during Project Clean Streams.
Clear Creeks is a community-based, grant-funded initiative, managed by the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy, that answers residents’ desire for improved water clarity in the creeks, runs and rivers of the Bird River, Middle River and Tidal Gunpowder watersheds.
The project is more than just beautifying the surrounding neighborhoods, it also helps the overall health of the Chesapeake Bay. For example, trash such as Styrofoam, plastic bottles, and grocery bags commonly get caught on streambanks and later end up flowing into major tributaries. By removing this trash while it’s still accessible, volunteers can make a real difference.
“The Clear Creeks Project is about working together--creek by creek, yard by yard, neighborhood by neighborhood--all of us doing our small part to make a big impact,” reads the project’s mission statement.
Over 10,000 volunteers have helped remove 234 tons of trash from local streams and creeks, states the GVC.
The clean-up project is sponsored by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and is part of the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy’s Adopt A Stream Program in partnership with Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability. Interested volunteers are encouraged to register online and be assigned to the closest clean-up site.
Community service learning hours are available. Children ages 8 years and up must be accompanied by an adult. The clean-ups will run from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
April 7 will be a busy day for the GVC as they are also hosting a rain garden workshop where volunteers can get hands-on experience installing a rain garden at Baltimore County Game and Fish Protective Association in Parkville.
Rain gardens benefit the environment by using native plants to soak up rainwater and filter it, ridding it of pollutants, before it eventually trickles into area waterways.
The organization will be hosting a tree planting event on Sunday, April 15 at the Hopewell Pointe community on Hopkins Landing Drive in Essex.
According to the GVC, more than 29,000 trees have been planted throughout the Gunpowder Watershed by these volunteers over the past 28 years.
Volunteers are encouraged to wear long sleeves and pants, boots, hat, gloves, and bring a water bottle and rain gear. Water jug and light snacks will be provided.
In September of 2017, the GVC received a $200,000 grant from the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund and $591,000 in matching donations.
During the presentation, Jim Martin, the Board President of the GVC, said this money would be used to support Watershed Restoration and Education programs over the next two years covering over seven acres in the Lower Gunpowder Falls, Bird River, Middle River, and Tidal Gunpowder watersheds.
All interested volunteer groups must directly contact Peg Perry, Program Director for Gunpowder Valley Conservancy, by email or (410) 692-0468.
For more information on the projects of the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy or to register, visit www.gunpowdervalleyconservancy.org.