The Volunteer Team Wins Prestigious National Service Award
Volunteers at three Western Maryland state parks logged over 200,000 hours of service
FLINTSTONE – Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Secretary C. Ronald Franks is pleased to announce that the spirit of community service is alive and well in Allegany County. The Volunteer Team, the volunteer organization serving Rocky Gap State Park, Dan’s Mountain State Park and Green Ridge State Forest, won the Daily Point of Light Award from The Points of Light Foundation & Volunteer Center National Network in Washington D.C. The non-profit organization engages and mobilizes millions of volunteers who are helping to solve serious social problems in thousands of communities.
The Daily Point of Light Award honors individuals and volunteer groups that have made a commitment to connect Americans through service to help meet critical needs in their communities. It focuses on the goals for children and youth set by the President's summit for America's future. Each weekday, one volunteer or volunteer effort in the country receives a daily point of light award. The Volunteer Team was the Daily Point of Light for Thursday, July 8, 2004.
“I am proud that a Maryland organization, The Volunteer Team, was selected to receive this national award,” said Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. “I am grateful to its members for their assistance in maintaining and preserving one of our State’s most valuable resources, our parks in Western Maryland.“
The Volunteer Team was founded in 1992 in response to budgetary cuts throughout the State Forest and Park Service. A handful of individuals began to volunteer their personal time and effort to maintain resources and preserve programs at the three parks. Since then, hundreds of volunteers have participated in the program, logging in excess of 200,000 hours of service.
“Our volunteers are as much a part of the DNR family as any paid staff member, “said Secretary Franks. “During tough fiscal times, DNR volunteers play an increasingly important role, particularly those serving our state forests and parks. I hold up The Volunteer Team as a shining example of an exemplary volunteer effort.”
Volunteers are involved in many aspects of operations and maintenance at the three sites. The maintenance work includes maintaining campground and day-use facilities; trail maintenance, gardening, building picnic tables, creating fish habitats, cleaning and construction projects. The Volunteer Team sponsors and provides assistance for numerous special events for the public including the annual Easter Egg Hunts at Rocky Gap and Dan’s Mountain, mountain bike races at Green Ridge, Independence Day activities and a Memorial Day Children’s Fun Fair at Rocky Gap, as well as playing an integral role in ongoing public education and recreation programs at the parks.
DNR offers many opportunities for Marylanders to volunteer their time in protecting and preserving the state’s natural resources. To find these opportunities visit DNR Online at www.dnr.maryland.gov.
For more information about the Daily Point of Light Award, visit The Points of Light Foundation & Volunteer Center National Network at www.pointsoflight.org.