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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: August 16, 2004
Contact: Bonnie Phillips, DCR Public Relations Coordinator, (804) 786-5056, bonnie.phillips@dcr.virginia.gov

Stewardship Virginia Fall Campaign Kicks Off Sept. 1

(Richmond, VA) - Stewardship Virginia, a statewide campaign to encourage and recognize voluntary activities that have a tangible impact on Virginia's natural resources, will start its fall campaign Wed., Sept.1. The campaign is in its second year and features two-month spring and fall sessions. This spring more than 10,000 people participated in 132 registered events in April and May. The fall session runs through Oct. 31.

"Stewardship Virginia captures those seasons of the year that are most conducive to the on-the-ground activities it promotes," says Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources W. Tayloe Murphy Jr. "While the stewardship of our commonwealth is a year-round endeavor, Stewardship Virginia focuses on the spring and fall to help promote a conservation ethic among all Virginians."
Stewardship Virginia is intended to bolster the efforts of Virginians who are already engaged in conservation efforts and encourage more people to become involved. Citizens and organizations may get help from the state agencies under Secretary Murphy. Governor Mark R. Warner will thank volunteers for their service by awarding them official certificates of appreciation.

Stewardship Virginia promotes activities such as landscaping for conservation, adopting a waterway, improving eroding trail, planting riparian buffers, invasive species control and habitat improvement. Finally, it encourages people to get out and connect with their lands and waterways to better understand their value and importance.

"Stewardship Virginia sends an important message," said Joseph H. Maroon, director of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. "Each of us can make a difference in the stewardship of our natural resources, for our generation and generations to come." DCR coordinates Stewardship Virginia with assistance from other natural and historical resources agencies in the state.

Events will be held throughout Virginia with many opportunities for volunteerism in state parks and natural areas. State agencies can also provide links to information and resources to groups looking to initiate local volunteer opportunities.

Individuals, businesses or organizations are encouraged to participate in Stewardship Virginia by registering events so that details are available to those citizens wanting to participate with a project. For more information, including a registration packet, call 1-877-42-WATER or in Richmond call Bonnie Phillips with the Department of Conservation and Recreation at 786-5056. Information and a registration form can also be accessed on the Internet at www.dcr.virginia.gov/stewardship.

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