Saying "the more a community does on its own, the better it will be," Baltimore County Executive C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger yesterday announced a volunteer campaign that will put citizens to work on projects proposed by their own communities.
Inspired by last spring's presidential volunteer summit, Ruppersberger said, the Volunteer Baltimore County program to start in October will have a "major, lasting impact on communities across the county" and reinforce the bond between residents and their communities.
Ruppersberger counts as inspiration for the program the help he saw neighbors giving one another during the blizzard of January 1996. Though he did not name specific projects, Ruppersberger said volunteers might work to improve school buildings, clean up streams and remove graffiti.
The first volunteer weekend will be in mid-October, said Michael Davis, the spokesman for the county executive. Volunteers need not work the entire weekend, but can instead commit whatever time they can, said Davis.
Community groups, PTAs and educators will be asked to "come up with their own projects," Davis said. And because most of the work will be performed by volunteers, the county expects to incur only moderate expenses. County assistance will come in the form of coordination and support -- trash pick-up service for a stream clean-up project, for example.
School officials are enthusiastic about the program.
"This is going to be a massive effort," said Don Mohler, spokesman for the county schools. "You are going to able to drive from the east side to the west side and see the effects." Mohler expects schools and community groups will have "lists and lists of projects" to tackle.
Mohler also said the project will give students a chance to meet their state community service requirements while working in their own schools.
Anyone interested in participating in Volunteer Baltimore County should call the county executive's office at 410-887-2450.
Pub Date: 8/06/97