Morgan Run volunteers clean up: Sue Ballus, chairwoman of the committee to re-open Morgan Run Natural Environment Area, said her group has presented Gov. William Donald Schaefer with two proposals -- one for re-opening Morgan Run and another for an Adopt-A-Park program similar to the Adopt-A-Highway program.
At a meeting with Walter Brown,manager of Patapsco Valley State Park, and Frank Ryan, the park ranger formerly assigned to Morgan Run between Westminster and Eldersburg, the committee devised a schedule of tasks necessary for the re-opening.
Cleanup will be a priority. At 9 a.m. Saturday, volunteers will meet at the Ben Rose Lane gate to begin cleaning roads leading into the park. Matt Brigance of Liberty Trash Removal has offered the use ofa Dumpster to speed the cleanup, Ballus said.
The Wacter Meadows area off Klees Mill Road and the Prato parking area off Jim Bowers Road will be mowed and trimmed.
Gates at the five entrances to the park will be sanded and spot-painted and signs will be installed.
Re-furbishing of the blue birdhouses previously installed on the Berger tract already has been completed by Ballus' husband, John Ballus.
In early May, volunteers will help re-stock trout in Morgan Run.
Several long-term projects not tied to the park's re-opening also have been designated for completion: Old fencing will be removed from some of the former farm tracts that constitute Morgan Run's acreage.
Old buildings at the Hornbarrier and Sew properties will be demolished. Thistle will be mowed in the wildlife patches on the Berger tract.
Susan Ballus reports that offers of help have come from Scout troops, Westminster High students, Carroll Community College students and an equestrian club, as well as individuals interested in the park. Anyone wishing to volunteer can call her at 795-3881 for information.
Earth Day at Piney Run: Piney Run Park will celebrate Earth Day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 20. Bring the family and picnic inthe park.
The staff has put together a program of family games, music, tree plantings, environmental lectures, exhibits and demonstrations.
Admission is free to Piney Run that day. The staff is askingvisitors to remember the park's "Waste Not" philosophy and bring recyclable picnic supplies.
For further details, call 795-6043.
Union Mills hike: The Piedmont Pacers are preparing for the 4th Annual 10,000-meter Volksmarch June 8-9 at the Union Mills Homestead. This year's award will be a naturally colored cloisonne eagle, in keeping with the theme "America's Heritage."
A patch awarded to entrants who complete the course will feature a Maryland symbol, the Chesapeake Bay retriever.
The Silver Run/Union Mills Lions Club again will handle the food concession. No need to stop for breakfast on the way, either -- this year a special breakfast sandwich will be offered,starting at 8 a.m.
Bob Binda, Frank Ringley, Steve Duex and ChuckMerkel are working on changes in the trail, among them an optional 3,000-meter loop that will avoid a steep hill that has left many hikers gasping for breath.
They also have planned an easier return to the finish.
Plant for wildlife: Give local wild animals and birds a special treat. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources hasannounced that seed packets for wildlife plot plantings are available free to landowners who devote part of their land to wildlife habitat.
Three different packet mixes are available: buckwheat, sorghum and millet mix. Each packet contains enough seeds to plant one-sixteenth of an acre.
Packets are available until April 19 at the Ag Center, 225 N. Center Street in Westminster.
Distribution is limited to one packet of each variety per individual. Random checks will be made during the summer to determine if the seeds were used as intended.
Moon rise: Here's an item from Piney Run Nature Center's bi-monthly publication, "Piney Whispers," one of the many bonuses Nature Center members receive.
Elaine Sweitzer, park naturalist, pointsout that the late March full moon was known as "The Full Worm Moon" since it appears at a time when the ground softens and the worms emerge -- just in time to become breakfast for the returning robins.
For those more romantically inclined, on April 28 the "Full Pink Moon"will rise over Carroll County.
This coincides with the blooming of grass pink or wild ground phlox, one of the earliest spring flowers.
Draw a trout: There's more than one way to catch a trout --and if you're talented with pen or brush you have until July 12 to submit your design for the Maryland Trout Stamp Design Contest.
Thewinning design will appear on the 1992 Maryland trout stamp requiredof all anglers over 16 years old who take trout from the state's non-tidal waters.
Artwork may depict any species of trout found in Maryland waters -- brook, brown or rainbow. Or it may show any activityor equipment associated with trout fishing in Maryland.
At least three different Carroll artists have won stamp design contests in recent years.
Information: Frances McFaden, 974-3365 or Barbara MacLeod, 974-3017.