Last Saturday a dedicated group of community volunteers joined the Aquarium Conservation Team at Fort McHenry to clean up debris in honor of Earth Day. They worked until the dumpster was overflowing, removing 10,944 pieces of debris from the marsh!
Each spring the marsh is transformed into a living classroom for hundreds of students from Baltimore City schools. The cleanup day came just in time to give the education areas a much-needed facelift before the Aquarium’s AquaPartners students arrived this week. New gravel was added to the walking areas, and the butterfly gardens were weeded and given new mulch!
Fort McHenry Field Days could not be successful without the volunteers who step up to spend a Saturday morning in the mud. A sincere thank you goes out to all of our volunteers. And judging from the pictures, it seems like everyone had an enjoyable day! Click here to see for yourself!
Published April 20, 2010
Conservation , Green Tips , National Aquarium , Plants
Tags: ACT!, chesapeake bay, conservation events, dunes, earth day, national volunteer week, restoration events, simple actions, volunteers
To celebrate Earth Day, every day this week we are sharing a simple action that can be taken to impact change. Everyone can do something to impact the health of our planet. Today, we’d like to encourage the simple action of volunteering.
Volunteering just a few hours of your time at a neighborhood cleanup or planting event is an easy way to show support for a healthy planet, and can really make an impact. In addition to Earth Day, organizations around the country are also celebrating National Volunteer Week.
In 2009, the Aquarium Conservation Team (ACT!) helped restore 119 acres of Chesapeake Bay habitat, planted more than 1 million grasses and removed 539,936 pieces of debris from public parks! Only with the help of our dedicated, passionate volunteers are we able to restore habitat and create a cleaner, thriving environment.
While at a dune restoration event last week in Virginia Beach, ACT! stopped by a 2006 project site for monitoring. We are pleased to report the successful revival of the sand dunes at Little Creek, Virginia.
Continue reading ‘Simple Action: Volunteer your time’
The Aquarium Conservation Team (ACT!) has seen many great volunteers come and go over the years, but one volunteer who has seen the program through since the very beginning is Mary Sidlowski. She is a mainstay at nearly every one of our conservation events, a source of inspiration and comic relief.
Mary began volunteering for the Aquarium in 1993 because she was looking for “a rewarding way to fill her time.” Since then she has become an integral part of many departments; she divides her time between working in Australia Wild Extremes, the rainforest, membership, education, the Marine Animal Rescue Program, and ACT!
“I was in ACT! before ACT! existed,” Mary says with a smile. She recalls a time when the Conservation Team’s only projects were beach clean-ups at Assateague Island, and she says “every year it has gotten better and better.” Now Mary loves to participate in wetland and dune restoration projects, and really enjoys planting the grasses – even if it means being covered in mud! “It’s very rewarding work, because you get to immediately see the results of what you’ve done,” she explains.
Continue reading ‘Volunteer Spotlight: Planting a milestone’