DUNDALK — Fourth of July weekend is usually reserved for grilling and pool time with friends and family. But more than one dozen patriotic volunteers joined John Long and the Clean Bread and Cheese Creek Cleanup crew on Saturday despite the muggy weather.

The volunteers cleaned up three historic sites from the War of 1812, including Battle Acre park on Old North Point Road, where monuments stand commemorating the rich history of the area. The park is one full acre, and it was dedicated in 1839 in remembrance of those who fought in the Battle of North Point on September 12, 1814.

Regiments of the Maryland militia engaged in battles with the British Army at the same time Fort McHenry was defending the Baltimore Harbor from the British Navy, according to the Baltimore County government (and any local history buff). The Maryland militia's success was the key factor in forcing the British to withdraw from the region of the Chesapeake for the remaining months of the War of 1812.

A century later, on September 14, 1914, the National Star Spangled Banner Commission placed a monument in the park topped with a memorial cannon,  in honor of those who fought and served in the Battle of North Point.

"As a soldier, I had an opportunity to not have reserve duty this weekend, so I volunteered at the cleanup," Paul M. Blitz told The Dundalk Eagle and The Avenue News on Monday. 

"I have to really tip my hat to John Long and the dozen or so volunteers who showed up. It was a hot and humid Saturday morning, but of course he was well-prepared. It really meant something to me as a soldier as I'm walking the battlefield at Battle Acre, and I'm thinking about all the American and British soldiers who actually fought and died there. It was very moving, and it's very well run."

"Despite the heat, over 17 volunteers arrived early on Saturday to help Clean Bread and Cheese Creek Community Cleanups remove over 22 bags of trash — including a shopping cart," said the group's president and founder John Long. "We also found three kitchen knives, several car parts and much more."

The group of dedicated volunteers cleaned up three of our communities' War of 1812 Monuments: Battle Acre Park, North Point Battlefield Park and the Methodist Meeting House Monument and Bread and Cheese Creek at North Point Road.

"In addition to removing trash from the sites, we also removed weeds from the brick work and monuments, cleaned the monument drains at Battle Acre, as well as mulching the area around the Methodist Meeting House Monument," said Long. "We would truly like to thank the volunteers from the community who gave up their Saturday morning to help us beautify and clean this important historic sites! Those who have given their lives defending our country should never be forgotten no longer how long ago their sacrifice was made."

Long also gave thanks to sponsors.

"We truly wish to thank Dunkin' Donuts of Wise Avenue for donating food to feed all our hungry and hardworking volunteers," he said. "We also want to thank Gold’s Gym of Dundalk for donating several cases of water and Staples of Eastpoint for donating several boxes of trash bags. A big thank you to Tradepoint Atlantic for donating money toward funding this cleanup. Thank you so much for your incredible generosity! We would also like to thank the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, American Rivers for all their assistance and support on this cleanup. Thank you so much everyone for another incredible job and another win for the environment!"

The Dundalk Eagle and The Avenue News staff are grateful to those that continually show up to better their communities and contribute to the environment. 

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