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JHU APL Cleans Up

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 (ereineck@howardcountymd.gov) and we can plan something.

Thanks so much JHU APL!

Elissa Rei­neck
Envi­ron­men­tal Vol­un­teer Coordinator
Novem­ber 2011

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