A group of 30 volunteers removed more than 20 bags of materials from the stream bed and woods behind Stoneleigh Elementary School, and adjacent to The Country Club of Maryland, on April 24. The effort was coordinated by Katie Dix of Blue Water Baltimore Blue Water Baltimore; Beth Miller, of Green Towson Alliance; and Anneslie resident Sarah Van Tiem. The volunteers included neighbors, friends and students from Stoneleigh Elementary, Dumbarton Middle School, Towson High School, and Loyola Blakefield.
A group of 30 volunteers removed more than 20 bags of materials from the stream bed and woods behind Stoneleigh Elementary School, and adjacent to The Country Club of Maryland, on April 24. The effort was coordinated by Katie Dix of Blue Water Baltimore Blue Water Baltimore; Beth Miller, of Green Towson Alliance; and Anneslie resident Sarah Van Tiem. The volunteers included neighbors, friends and students from Stoneleigh Elementary, Dumbarton Middle School, Towson High School, and Loyola Blakefield. (Submitted photo)

"Spring cleaning" took on a whole new meaning for a determined group of Towson residents who are concerned about the well-being of our community's green spaces.

Blue Water Baltimore sponsored a cleanup of a stretch of stream and woods behind Stoneleigh Elementary School, and adjacent to The Country Club of Maryland, on Sunday, April 24. Katie Dix, of Blue Water Baltimore, Beth Miller, of Green Towson Alliance, and Anneslie resident Sarah Van Tiem coordinated the effort for Project Clean Stream.

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The event recruited 30 volunteers, including neighbors, friends and students from Stoneleigh Elementary, Dumbarton Middle School, Towson High School, and Loyola Blakefield.

The group removed more than 20 bags of materials from the stream bed and surrounding woods, which included eight bags of invasive plants (Japanese barberry, garlic mustard, wild roses, and English ivy so stubborn and thick it had to be pruned, sawed and pried away from tree trunks); two bags of cans and bottles to recycle; 10 bags of garbage; and many curious finds, such as two car batteries, three crowbars, two tarps, a baseball pitchback, a basketball hoop, a tennis net, a large metal sign, a carpet, a folding chair, a wallet and the base of a motorized wheelchair (how on earth did that find its way into the stream?). In a gesture of appreciation, Joe McGuire, general manager of The Country Club of Maryland, was on hand with cold drinks, trail mix and a tray of cookies for when the volunteers needed a quick break. Nice job, all! Thanks for your hard work in keeping our community clean!

Boy Scout Officials and Scouts from the Baltimore Area Council had the opportunity to meet with Gov. Larry Hogan on Friday, April 15, at the Maryland State House, in Annapolis, to recognize Hogan as a member of the advisory board of the Baltimore Area Council and to present the Boy Scouts of America Report to the state of Maryland.

The report detailed the impact of scouting across Maryland, including growth in membership and ongoing community service. In 2015, Boy Scouts had more than 65,000 youth members who contributed more than 50,000 volunteer hours throughout Maryland, while more than 700 Boy Scouts earned the Eagle Scout award in 2015.

One local scout to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank in Boy Scouts, is Alex Hontz. Alex is the son of Debbie Hontz, and a student at Towson High School.

Alex's accomplishment was the culmination of seven years of membership in Troop 328, in which he had progressive leadership roles, learned life and emergency preparation skills, earned 25 merit badges and served the community through many hours of volunteer work. Alex was presented with the Eagle Scout award at a Court of Honor ceremony at Timonium United Methodist Church on May 7. Congratulations, Alex!

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