Woodland Walk To Benefit Parks West Columbia

April 14, 1993|By Adam Sachs | Adam Sachs,Staff Writer

Dorsey's Search village residents will have a chance to put their money where their paths are Saturday by marching through their community's open spaces and woods to raise money for improvements to the green areas.

The walk will be on the Plum Tree Path through open space in the Dorsey Hall neighborhood and through Gwynn Acres, a wooded area that includes streams, wetlands and wildlife habitat. It is being organized by the county Department of Recreation and Parks, in conjunction with a national association that helps raise money for parks. The county also is organizing similar events Saturday for Centennial Park in Ellicott City, Schooley Mill near Clarksville, Savage Park and Rockburn Branch Park near Elkridge.

The Washington-based National Parks and Conservation Association is sponsoring its fourth annual March for Parks event nationwide this weekend. Planned in conjunction with Earth Day on April 22, it is the first year that Howard County is participating.

. The recreation department plans to design a "nature-interpretation program" and do plantings to enhance degraded stream areas in Gwynn Acres, said Mark Raab, supervisor of the department's land-management division.

Money raised through the Dorsey's Search walk will be used for signs to identify certain vegetation, nature areas and overlooks along the Gwynn Acres paths and for installing benches and stopping stream bank erosion that degrades the Little Patuxent River, Mr. Raab said. The project will cost about $6,000, he said.

The paths are used by "volksmarchers," the Howard County Striders running club and residents, said Ria Malloy, village board vice chairwoman, who has led nature walks through the area's nontidal wetlands.

"We're hoping this will continue what we as volunteers can do and what the county has done," she said. "It's such a beautiful area with wildflowers and wildlife. We'd like to preserve it as best we can."

Participants in the march, which will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., can sign up sponsors to make donations. Walkers will have the option of a four-mile or a one-mile circuit, and will meet at Columbia Road, opposite Ram's Horn Row north of the village center.

Environmental Education Concepts, a nonprofit Columbia organization and the local sponsor of March for Parks, pitched the concept to county government, said President Glen Gaskins.

"The idea is not to impact the county budget in a negative way," Mr. Gaskins said. "This will make up for some of the effects of budget cuts to parks."

Environmental Education Concepts aims to unify efforts of environmental organizations and involve youths in conservation projects. "We want this to be an annual event," Mr. Gaskins said. "We want to develop it so high school and middle school students can carry the ball."

WANT TO WALK?

For information or to register for any of the walks, call Environmental Education Concepts at (410) 997-8533.

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