National Parks in Maryland and DC Provide More Than 50,000 Meals to Neighbors with Donated Venison

Two images. On left a woman gestures to a freezer filled with venison. On right, 2 smiling women stand before a filled freezer.
Left image: Pastor Sally Joyner-Giffin, Manager of the Thurmont Food Bank. Right image: Josephine Willard (on left, Director of HELP Hotline) and Carol Schorn (on right, Secretary of HELP Hotline).

NPS

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News Release Date: April 9, 2018

Contact: Megan Nortrup, 202-339-8314

WASHINGTON—Four national parks in Maryland and the District of Columbia recently concluded annual operations to reduce overabundant white-tailed deer. Two Civil War battlefields, a 5,810-acre hardwood mountain forest and a national park in the heart of our nation’s capital, donated more than 14,000 pounds of venison to local non-profits that serve those in need.
 

Park

Venison Donated

Local Non-Profit

Antietam National Battlefield

4,856 lbs

Maryland Food Bank

Catoctin Mountain Park

2,016 lbs

Thurmont Food Bank, HELP Hotline

Monocacy National Battlefield

4,020 lbs

Maryland Food Bank

Rock Creek Park

3,300 lbs

DC Central Kitchen

Total

14,192 lbs

 


The deer are professionally processed and tested for chronic wasting disease before the venison is donated.

While the four parks were established independently to preserve different parts of America’s historic and natural treasures, all have suffered from the effects of regionally high deer populations. Overabundant deer populations do immense damage to vegetation and eat nearly all tree seedlings so forests cannot sustain themselves. Deer also damage agricultural crops, which are a key component of the historic setting in Civil War battlefields.

Catoctin has conducted deer management efforts since 2010 and, in that time, has seen a 10-fold increase in native tree and shrub seedling density. Rock Creek began management in 2013, and Antietam and Monocacy began in 2016. Each park has its own deer management plan, formulated in conjunction with the National Environmental Policy Act.

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Last updated: April 9, 2018

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