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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: August 11, 2005
Contact: Bonnie Phillips, DCR Public Relations Coordinator, (804) 786-5056, bonnie.phillips@dcr.virginia.gov

Stewardship Virginia Campaign Kicks off Sept. 1, 2005

(Richmond, VA)- Stewardship Virginia, a statewide campaign to encourage and recognize voluntary activities with a tangible impact on Virginia's natural resources, continues its third year Sept. 1. The campaign features spring and fall activities. The fall portion of the campaign runs through Oct. 31.

This spring 236 projects were registered and nearly 14,500 certificates of appreciation were awarded. Philip Morris USA, the Virginia Petroleum Council, the Virginia Poultry Federation and Dominion Virginia Power donated to the campaign.

Last fall the Alcoa Foundation donated $18,000 for conservation projects at Pocahontas and Staunton River state parks. Alcoa volunteers worked on an eroded area and planted a riparian buffer of native trees, plants and flowers along Swift Creek. The plants, which absorb and filter stormwater runoff before it enters the stream, flourished this spring.

"Stewardship Virginia sends a powerful message," said Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources W. Tayloe Murphy Jr. "We must demonstrate responsible stewardship of our natural resources, for our generation and generations to come."

The campaign bolsters efforts of Virginians already engaged in conservation and encourages more people to become involved. Last spring, more than 151 litter and debris cleanups were conducted during Stewardship Virginia in conjunction with a statewide litter campaign.

Citizens and groups may get help from the state's natural resource agencies. Gov. Mark R. Warner awards certificates of appreciation to those who take part.

"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 (DCR). "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.

Stewardship Virginia promotes waterway adoption, trail improvement, the planting of riparian buffers, invasive species control, habitat improvement and landscaping for conservation. It encourages people to connect with land and water to better understand their value.

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.

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