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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: March 29, 2005
Contact: Gary Waugh, DCR Public Relations Manager, (804) 786-5045, gary.waugh@dcr.virginia.gov

Stewardship Virginia Campaign Kicks off April 1

(Richmond, VA)- Stewardship Virginia, a statewide campaign to encourage and recognize voluntary activities with a tangible impact on Virginia's natural resources, starts its third year April 1. The campaign takes place during spring and fall, from April 1 through May 31 and from Sept. 1 through Oct. 31.

Last year, 269 projects were registered, and nearly 12,500 certificates of appreciation were awarded. Businesses including Philip Morris USA, Avionics Specialties, the Virginia Poultry Federation and Dominion Virginia Power donated to and supported the campaign. The Alcoa Foundation donated $18,000 to pay for conservation projects at Pocahontas and Staunton River State Parks. About 100 Alcoa employees volunteered in their communities across the state.

"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."

Stewardship Virginia bolsters efforts of Virginians already engaged in conservation efforts and encourages more people to become involved. Citizens and groups may get help from the state's natural resource agencies. Gov. Mark R. Warner awards a certificate 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 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 landscaping for conservation, waterway adoption, trail improvement, the planting of riparian buffers, invasive species control and habitat improvement. 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. Information and a registration form are online at www.dcr.virginia.gov/stewardship.

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