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Volunteers ready to kick off Fall Stewardship Virginia Campaign

Stewardship Virginia, a statewide campaign to encourage and recognize voluntary activities with a tangible impact on Virginia’s natural resources, continues its 10th year with events across the state, with two activities scheduled for Halifax County.

The Halifax County Extension Office is planning a Patriotic Stewardship Day on Tuesday at Staunton River State Park for 4-H youth.

The Halifax County 4-H Stewardship Club will establish a pet rest area at the Southside Botanical Gardens on Tuesday, and Fairy Stone State Park will conduct a lake cleanup by canoe.

The campaign features activities in the spring and fall, with the fall portion beginning Sept. 1 and running through Oct. 31.

“Stewardship Virginia gives us all an opportunity to make real contributions to our natural and historic resources. Virginia’s landscapes and waterways are important for their ecological value, scenic beauty and recreational opportunities,” said Gov. Bob McDonnell. “Stewardship Virginia projects give volunteers the tools, guidance, and structure to continue to enhance these valuable resources. I encourage all Virginians to get involved.”

Citizens and groups may get help from the state’s natural resource agencies. Participants in Stewardship Virginia events will receive certificates of appreciation signed by Gov. McDonnell.

“Events will be held throughout Virginia with many opportunities for volunteerism in our parks and natural areas during Stewardship Virginia,” said David Johnson, director of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. “We appreciate the many Virginians who have participated to date and hope many others will join in.” DCR coordinates the campaign with help from other state natural and historical resources agencies.

The Izaak Walton League plans a cleanup along Orange Plank Road in Spotsylvania County and the Friends of the North Fork of the Shenandoah River will host a river cleanup. Sky Meadows, Belle Isle and Chippokes Plantation state parks have several stewardship events planned as well. For dates and times of these and other events go to www.dcr.virginia.gov/stewardship/events.

Last spring 184 projects were registered and more than 2,000 volunteers were recognized with certificates of appreciation. Miles of waterways were cleaned and thousands of pounds of trash hauled away.  Volunteers held recycling events and organized community cleanups.  Invasive species were replaced with native plants and many trails were cleared for citizens to enjoy.

Stewardship Virginia promotes waterway adoption, trail improvement, the planting of riparian buffers, invasive species control, habitat improvement and landscaping for conservation. 

The campaign encourages people to connect with land and water to better understand their value.

 Many businesses and groups across Virginia have already registered Stewardship events and provided support to promote conservation initiatives.

Individuals, businesses and organizations are encouraged to register their projects with Stewardship Virginia, making details available for those wanting to join in. 

For more information, including a registration packet, call 1-877-42-WATER; in Richmond call 786-5056. 

Visit www.dcr.virginia.gov/stewardship for more information about volunteer projects and a registration form.