October 2022
We appreciate our volunteers!

On July 31, M-NCPPC, Department of Parks and Recreation, Prince George’s County held its 2022 Volunteer Appreciation Celebration at Bladensburg Waterfront Park. Held every two years in the summer, the event is a chance for Department staff to say thank you and for volunteers to meet each other for fun and fellowship. This year, attendees had the opportunity to participate in a number of activities including a pontoon boat ride down the Anacostia River and a picnic dinner. As always, the event was a success with several volunteers reaching out with words of thanks and appreciation. Caroline, who volunteers as a Virtual Collections Digitization Aide at one of our museums, wrote to share, "Just want to say what a pleasant time my husband and I had at this afternoon's event. Despite the threat of rain, the boat ride was relaxing and informative and the luncheon afterward was excellent! Thank you for a lovely time."
The celebration also recognized fifteen volunteers who received the President's Volunteer Service Award. Founded in 2003, the President’s Volunteer Service award recognizes the important role of American volunteers in impacting communities all over the nation. Available to adults who have completed at least one hundred hours of unpaid work and teens who have completed at least fifty hours within a 12-month period, recipients are chosen through a nomination process. This is the first year that M-NCPPC's Department of Parks and Recreation nominated volunteers for this award. Award recipients receive a customized certificate, official pin, coin, or medallion, and a congratulatory letter signed by President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Volunteer Kent F. was recognized for his service removing litter from the Anacostia River at Bladensburg Waterfront Park and shared that it was "pretty cool to be recognized at that level."

The following individuals were recognized for their service:

Silver Award (Adults)
Bill W.
Mina A.
Raymond L.
Bronze (Adults)
Anne O.
Frank B.
George M.
Jacqueline L.
Keith D.
Kelly T.
Kent F.
Kris M.
Michael H.
Bronze Award (Young Adults)
Christon H.
Ryan M.
Bronze Award (Teens)
Amare’ H.
If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering click here!
Virtual opportunities are available.
The Winter Festival of Lights will shine bright this holiday season with 3 miles of drive-through whimsical lights! Experience dazzling scenes that celebrate the magic of the holiday season from the comfort of your own car. Join us from Friday, November 26, 2021 - Sunday, January 2, 2022
Did you know that the Department has an equestrian center? This year The Show Place Arena will host the Washington International Horse Show, October 24 - 30. Discover more information here.
Community Partner Organization

Patuxent Bird Club
Our community partner spotlight this month is the Patuxent Bird Club, a local chapter of the Maryland Ornithological Society (MOS). The club was founded in 1960. Since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, membership of the Patuxent Bird Club has swelled from 40 to 110 individuals. Club President Marcia Watson thinks the interest in birding has grown over the course of the pandemic, keeping the Patuxent Bird Club busier than ever. The club holds popular monthly bird walks at several M-NCPPC facilities, including Lake Artemesia, Governor Bridge, and Fran Uhler Natural Areas. These walks are free and open to the public and led by Patuxent Bird Club members who take local bird enthusiasts on an exploration of the local species and their habitats. Said Marcia Watson, “We don’t quit at birds. Most members are interested in habitat conservation and reservation restoration. We’re interested in everything.”
The Maryland Ornithological Society annually offers scholarships to nature educators, naturalists, and nature center staff to attend National Audubon Society summer workshops on ecology and ornithology. The Patuxent Bird Club sponsors local educators who wish to apply. This year, two Prince George’s County residents were awarded the scholarship, one of whom is an M-NCPPC Department of Parks and Recreation employee at Patuxent River Park. The Patuxent Bird Club’s hope is to connect the community with the natural world surrounding us through the joys of birding. On August 2, the club led a field trip to Bombay Hook to observe migrating birds along the shore of the Delaware Bay. More information about this and other club activities can be found on the organization’s website. 
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