Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that Stewardship Virginia, a statewide campaign to encourage and recognize voluntary activities with a tangible impact on Virginia’s natural resources, continues this year with events across the state. The campaign features activities during spring and fall. The fall portion runs September 1 through October 31.
“Stewardship Virginia gives every Virginian an opportunity to make real contributions to the natural and historic resources we share,” Governor McAuliffe said. “Virginia’s landscapes and waterways are important for their ecological value, scenic beauty and recreational opportunities. Stewardship Virginia projects offer volunteers the tools, guidance and structure to continue to enhance these valuable resources, and I encourage all Virginians to get involved.”
Virginia’s natural resource agencies are prepared to offer tools, trips and training to individuals or groups interested in taking part in the Stewardship Virginia campaign. Participants in Stewardship Virginia events will receive certificates of appreciation from Governor McAuliffe.
“There will be many opportunities for volunteerism in parks and natural areas during Stewardship Virginia,”said Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation Director Clyde Cristman. “We appreciate the many Virginians who have participated to date and hope many others join in. This year’s campaign will emphasize restoring habitats for pollinators, which have suffered dramatically in recent years and need our support to provide nectar, pollen, water and leaves for valuable insets and birds.”
The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) coordinates the campaign with help from other natural resource agencies. Last year, more than 250 projects were registered and more than 5,000 volunteers were recognized with certificates of appreciation. Miles of waterways were cleaned and thousands of pounds of trash were hauled away. Volunteers held recycling events and organized community cleanups. Invasive species were replaced with native plants, and many trails were cleared.
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 Stewardship Virginia events with DCR’s Office of Environmental Education, making details available for those wanting to join in. For more information and a registration packet, call 1-877-42-WATER; in Richmond, call 804-786-5056.
Visit DCR’s webpage here for a list of volunteer projects and a registration form.