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Media inquiries: Please contact Gary Waugh, gary.waugh@dcr.virginia.gov, 804-786-5045.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: March 22, 2006
Contact: Bonnie Phillips, DCR Public Relations Coordinator, (804) 786-5056, bonnie.phillips@dcr.virginia.gov

Stewardship Virginia campaign kicks off April 1

RICHMOND - Stewardship Virginia, a statewide campaign toencourage and recognize voluntary activities with a tangible impact on Virginia’snatural resources, begins its fourth year April 1. The campaign featuresactivities in the spring and fall. The spring portion of the campaign runsthrough May 31.

Last year, 381 projects were registered, and nearly 16,589 certificatesof appreciation were awarded. Philip Morris USA, the Virginia Petroleum Council,the Virginia Poultry Federation, Dominion Virginia Power, Starbucks and theAlcoa Foundation donated to the campaign.

“We can all play a role in the stewardship of our Commonwealth’snatural and historic resources,” said Virginia Secretary of NaturalResources L. Preston Bryant Jr. “Stewardshp Virginia projects giveour citizens – our friends and our neighbors – the tools, guidance and structurethey often lack when trying to enhance these valuable resources.”

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

“Events will be held throughout Virginia with many opportunities forvolunteerism in our parks and natural areas during Stewardship Virginia,” said Joseph H. Maroon, director of the Virginia Department of Conservationand Recreation (DCR). “We appreciate the many Virginians who have participatedto date and hope many others will join in.” DCR coordinates the campaignwith help from other state natural and historical resources agencies.

Mountainview Elementary School in Alleghany County will visit Douthat StatePark on April 3. Students will plant willow trees as a buffer along a shoreline,learn the importance of buffers and discuss characteristics of their watershed.

DCR and the Virginia Department of Forestry (DOF) will kick off StewardshipVirginia at the 17th Street Market in Richmond on April 6. Loblolly pineseedlings will be available for citizens to plant to start their own wildlifeareas. The trees are native to Virginia and help protect larger hardwoodtrees when planted around them.

The Chesterfield 4-H, DCR, Starbucks and other volunteers will kick offStewardship Virginia on April 10 at Pocahontas State Park. Volunteers willplant pine seedlings and a cover crop along an old logging road to help preventerosion.

In Southside Virginia, students from Scottsburg Elementary School will assistnatural resource staff on April 21. Students will help kick off StewardshipVirginia at Staunton River State Park by planting oak trees and other plantsin wildlife habitat areas, and the students will learn about their watershed.

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

Individuals, businesses and organizations are encouraged to participatein Stewardship Virginia by registering events so that details are availableto citizens who want to join in. For more information, including a registrationpacket, call

1-877-42-WATER; in Richmond call 786-5056. Information and a registrationform are online at www.dcr.virginia.gov/stewardship.

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