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O'Malley Joins Aspen Hill Stream Cleanup

Service day activity at Turkey Branch was Governor's first stop on MLK Jr. Day.

Governor O’Malley stopped by Turkey Branch in Aspen Hill Monday morning to briefly help out with a stream cleanup organized for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The Turkey Branch cleanup helped remove trash from the stream and woods surrounding the Matthew Henson Trail. The event was one of four stream cleanups organized for the day of service by FORCE, Friends of Rock Creek's Environment. 

Gov. O’Malley spoke briefly before the cleanup started and spent a few minutes picking up trash near the trail.

“I thought it was a good way to start the day and do it in an environmental sense.” O’Malley said, adding he’d grown up playing in the streams of Montgomery County.

His next stop was a food pantry in Howard County, followed by the 11th Annual MLK Jr. Day parade in Baltimore and serving dinner at Baltimore Station

“I think Maryland, in many ways, is making the sort of strides that would make Dr. King proud,” O’Malley said when asked how the state is living up to Dr. King’s ideals.  “We’re a state that celebrates our diversity, that understands that our diversity is our strength.”

O’Malley cited a lower homicide rate, closing of the achievement gap and health care reform as reflections of that strength.

FORCE team leaders and volunteers stayed on through 12 p.m., collecting plastic bags, glass bottles and an assortment of other trash. Steps from the stream, volunteers found a mattress, a couch, a grill, several construction signs and tires.

Two-thirds of the Rock Creek watershed, which Turkey Branch is part of, are located in Montgomery County, project manager Doug Barker explained, and the branch received significant funds for restoration efforts along its banks. 

Lynn January 18, 2011 at 08:24 PM
In case any of the volunteers from Monday's MLK Jr. Day cleanup check out the above article, I want to thank them again for all they did! I just got the stats - we had over 80 volunteers sign in, 123 trash bags were filled, 600 lbs (estimated) of junk including 15 tires, motors, boom boxes, mattresses, lawn chairs, bikes and a couch were pulled out of woods along the Matthew Henson Trail and Turkey Branch creek. I also want to thank the Friends of Rock Creek's Enviroment (FORCE www.friendsofrockcreek.org) for organizing the cleanup and doing a great job in welcoming the Governor, and sharing with everyone how important it is to keep our streams clean! Anyone interested in organizing a clean up along Turkey Branch or ANY stream/park in Montgomery County can contact the Volunteer Services Office for Montgomery Parks at 301-495-2504 or visit the website www.ParksVolunteers.org Lynn Vismara, Group Volunteer Coordinator, Montgomery Parks, MNCPPC

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