December 2020 Newsletter
It feels good to volunteer. It feels even better when you can see the results of your hard work years later! When you support the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy (GVC) you are providing local students and volunteers of all ages with opportunities to make a difference in the health of our forests and waterways. We are excited to announce that we are over halfway to our goal of raising $20,000 before the end of the year. We just need to raise another $4,825 to satisfy our $10,000 match. Make your donation go twice as far and donate to the GVC today!
What Does the GVC Mean to You?
Hope. Community. Great People. Those were some of the keywords that our 2020 volunteer leaders selected to describe the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy during our first virtual GVC Volunteer Appreciation party. It was great to "see" everyone and we hope to celebrate our 2021 achievements in person.

Each year, the GVC gives out a Volunteer of the Year award to someone that demonstrates the spirit of volunteerism, provides high level of leadership qualities, and goes above and beyond to the benefit of others and the Gunpowder watershed. As many of you know, Charlie Conklin embodies all those traits and has selflessly given a lot of his time to the GVC since its inception in 1989. For that reason, we have decided to re-name our annual award in his honor.

We are proud to announce our TWO recipients of the 2020 Charlie Conklin Volunteer of the Year Award: Steve Fauser and Tim Somers!
Steve Fauser has been one of our most active Stream Captains in the Adopt-a-Stream program for the past couple of years, cleaning his adopted stream segment (Beaver Dam Run) in Cockeysville. His volunteer team has helped to remove large trash items including picnic tables, washing machines, and a sofa! In fact, they have removed so many tires that GVC was able to work with Baltimore County to get a special permit for Steve to drop off more than 4 tires at a time at the recycling facility.

Steve is also a Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) member with the Baltimore County of Aging as well as a long-time volunteer at the Bykota Senior Center in Towson. Thank you, Steve, for your ongoing commitment not only to the health of Beaver Dam Run but for your service to GVC, Baltimore County, and the planet we share.
Tim Somers (pictured above with his son) has been a reliable GVC Reforestation Volunteer Crew Chief Leader for the past 10 years. His commitment to the program was especially evident this year as he volunteered at 9 out of 13 tree plantings! Tim serves as an excellent mentor for new crew chiefs and GVC interns, bringing his enthusiasm for native plants and forest health to every planting project. Crew chiefs typically work 5 hours on days when we host tree planting events. However, Tim has been known to stay before or after events to do tree maintenance!

Tim recently joined the GVC's Education and Restoration Committee and will assist in developing and implementing the committee's 5 year strategic plan. In total, Tim provided 75 volunteer hours in 2020, valued at $2,150 worth of volunteer labor. His long-term support of GVC over the past decade is priceless. Thank you, Tim, for your outstanding leadership in the GVC Reforestation program, your devotion to the natural world, and your spontaneous spirit of volunteerism!
Upcoming Calendar of Events
While winter is our slow season, we usually are opportunistic and host Tree Maintenance when there is mild weather. However, this year GVC has decided not to hold any volunteer events until March 2021. We made this decision based on the anticipated increase in COVID-19 cases this winter. The safety of our staff and volunteers is our top concern.

We look forward to working outdoors with you again in 2021! Until then, grab a book (or two) and relax.

The Gunpowder Valley Conservancy dedicates our 2020 native tree and shrub plantings to the heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic: the men and women of our region who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to serve and protect us, heal our families, produce our food, and teach our children. We honor their contributions to the well-being of the Gunpowder Watershed.