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Media inquiries: Please contact Julie Buchanan, julie.buchanan@dcr.virginia.gov, 804-786-2292.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: September 02, 2009
Contact: Bonnie Phillips, DCR Public Relations Coordinator, (804) 786-5056, bonnie.phillips@dcr.virginia.gov

September kick-off for Stewardship Virginia Campaign

(Doswell, VA)— Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources L. Preston Bryant Jr. and Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Robert S. Bloxom today kicked off the fall Stewardship Virginia campaign at the natural resources and forestry area of The Meadow Event Park, the new home for the State Fair of Virginia in Caroline County.

Stewardship Virginia is a statewide campaign to encourage and recognize voluntary activities with a tangible impact on Virginia’s natural resources. The campaign features activities in the spring and fall. The fall campaign runs through October 31.

“We can all play a role in the stewardship of our Commonwealth’s natural and historic resources,” said Secretary Bryant. “Stewardship Virginia projects give our citizens – our friends and our neighbors – the tools, guidance and structure they often lack when trying to enhance these valuable resources.”

Citizens and groups may get help from the state’s natural resource agencies. Certificates of appreciation signed by Gov. Tim Kaine go to those who take part.

Employees from the natural resource agencies, the Virginia Dept. of Forestry and other volunteers helped Bryant and Bloxom plant native trees, shrubs and a butterfly garden to provide habitat for nectar loving insects at the kick-off event.

“Trees provide shade, habitat for wildlife and filter pollutants in the air,” said Secretary Robert S. Bloxom. ”This conservation project will show how landscaping with native plants can save people money and time in the long run.”

Strange's Garden Center and Luck Stone donated plants and materials for the project. Tyson’s Foods donated chicken for the volunteers’ lunch. Educational demonstrations will be held in the area during the state fair.

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

Stewardship Virginia is coordinated by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation with help from all natural resource agencies. It 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.

“Events will be held throughout Virginia with many opportunities for volunteerism in our parks and natural areas during Stewardship Virginia,” said Joseph H. Maroon, director of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.

Individuals, businesses and organizations are encouraged to participate in Stewardship Virginia by registering events so that details are available to citizens who want 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.

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