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

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

Stewardship Virginia Campaign begins April 1, 2004

(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 second year on April 1. The campaign began as a two-month campaign last September with more than 5,000 Virginians signing up to participate in more than 100 registered events. This year Stewardship Virginia will have a spring campaign from April 1 through May 31 and a fall component from Sept. 1 through Oct. 31.

"We have expanded the timeframe for Stewardship Virginia to capture 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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