Why do you volunteer your time specifically with this organization?
MSGFPA is a local non-profit that is claimed to be the oldest conservation club within the United States, having been founded in 1874. The club is dedicated to preserving and protecting Maryland’s diverse natural resources. Baltimore is located within close proximity to the ocean and mountains, with easy access to the ocean, bays, rivers, forests, and valleys. As an active outdoor enthusiast, I spend much of my time among the area’s forests and waterways, and so I have a vested interest in helping to preserve these amazing resources.
Does this organization affect Baltimore as a whole?
The club owns 25.5 acres of forest in Baltimore County which is used to promote conservation practices and for the enjoyment of club members. The property features local deer, waterfowl, and other local wildlife, as well as forest, catch-and-release ponds, camping, and an outdoor archery range.
The organization offers educational seminars for the public, and has recently teamed up with Gunpowder Valley Conservancy, offering workshops and volunteer opportunities with an emphasis on protecting the Chesapeake Bay and Chesapeake Watershed. The workshops are geared towards teaching local homeowners how to make their homes and gardens more “bay friendly,” by incorporating rain gardens, rain barrels, and minimizing storm water runoff and pollution. The club has recently hosted several public rain barrel building workshops with the help of Gunpowder Valley Conservancy.
What is your favorite memory of working with this organization?
The workshops and cleanups builds comradery within the club. We have a “family membership” and so the whole family comes out to volunteer and participate in club activities. We’ve met some great people who share similar interests with us. Despite a very friendly and social atmosphere, my favorite time spent at the club is when I am alone, enjoying the tranquility of the woods.
If you could do one thing to change the organization for the better, what would it be?
As is probably true with any non-profit club, we need more members and more youth to get involved. We have a lot of older members, some of whom have been very active members for decades. We need the youth to get involved so that they may one day take the reins and be the future of MSGFPA.