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Contact: Debra Mills, 301-663-9388
A series of volunteer events during Healthy Heart Week will introduce elementary and middle school students and their advisors to the concept of environmental stewardship and demonstrate that nature can be a catalyst to better human and community health.
America’s health crisis has manifested itself in dramatic increases in heart ailments, diabetes, obesity and other diseases. However, research also suggests that exposure to nature and participation in outdoor exercise have significant health benefits. National Park Service Director, Jon Jarvis, states, “Parks are a great untapped resource in fostering health and wellness across the U.S.”
Girl Scout Troop 81786 will spend the mornings of April 18, 19 and 20, transplanting native wildflowers from the Visitor Center Garden to a wetlands restoration area at Camp Round Meadow. They will plant additional native plants purchased with funds raised through troop cookie sales. The Girls Scouts learned about volunteer activities at Catoctin Mountain Park during an event entitled, “Girl Scouts Can Change the World.” and chose the park as the location of the service project for the Girl Scout Bronze Award. To earn this award, each scout is required to contribute eight hours planning, fund-raising for, and completing a service project benefitting the community.
The Green Club of Dwight D. Eisenhower Middle School, from Laurel Maryland, is camping in the park on the nights of April 20 and 21. This group will remove invasive plants and prepare the Visitor Center Garden for replanting with native wildflowers by fourth graders from Robert Moton Elementary School, Westminster, MD on April 26.
Catoctin Mountain Park is one of 394 units administered by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. The park Visitor Center, located on State Route 77 three miles west of Thurmont, Maryland, is open daily from 10:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., and from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Correspondence should be addressed to: Superintendent, Catoctin Mountain Park, 6602 Foxville Road, Thurmont, MD 21788. Our website address is www.nps.gov/cato. General information can be obtained by calling the Visitor Center at (301) 663-9388.