The last week in October, a group from the John’s Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab (JHU APL) met in Savage to clean up trash. No, they weren’t in trouble and being punished. They actually volunteered to do this.
It was a cool but beautiful sunny day. We met at the entrance to the Savage Mill Trail then cleaned up an area across the street along the river. The group worked very hard and picked up 245 pounds of trash and 110 pounds of recycling. Our wonderful Recreation and Parks staff hauled it all away and provided the trash bags.
JHU APL has done this cleanup for many years. It was originally started by Jeanne Presley, who cared about the Savage Mill park and wanted the company to do something for the community. Jeanne tragically died of cancer, and her co-workers at APL continue with the project to honor her memory. They talked about her during the cleanup last week, saying that she would have been proud.
As part of their JHU APL Cares Day, the volunteers meet on a Friday afternoon each Fall and work with the County on a cleanup around the Savage Park area. Over the years we have varied the cleanup so that it covered the trail itself and other County property nearby. It all helps keep trash and pollution out of our environment.
During the afternoon we spotted a red fox, woodpeckers, a Northern brown snake and a toad. The snake picture has now been included in a state-wide survey called the Herp Atlas.
The employees worked together and got to know each other better outside of the office setting. After they were done, they went out to a restaurant together. Great team building and a bit of fun. Hey wait, why wasn’t I invited? Just kidding.
If any of you know of a company that wants to do a similar thing, maybe next Spring for Earth Day, email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we can plan something.
Thanks so much JHU APL!Elissa Reineck Environmental Volunteer Coordinator November 2011