Cornelius' Corner

"10 Years of Earth Day Celebrations!"

Cornelius’ Corner: “10 Years of Earth Day Celebrations!”

Volunteers from Agilent Technologies

Hi friends,

This year marks a very special occasion for my friends here in the park. We’ve officially been celebrating Earth Day for 10 years! The celebration started with a single Earth Day event but evolved into Earth Month in 2020, which has allowed even more people to join in the fun activities!

In 2023, we focused on projects that protected the park’s natural areas and improved our ability to teach people about nature. We had lots of groups, families, and individuals come join us over the course of the month. Employees from Agilent Technologies helped to remove invasive plant species in the area around one of the park’s vernal pools. In addition to making the area easier for frogs and toads to move through, the cleanup makes it possible for a mapping project over the summer. This step is required before future habitat restoration work!

Members of Girl Scout Troop 553

Girl Scout Troop 553 and Scout Pack 168 both helped with habitat restoration work in the Beech forest, which is the oldest section of forest in the park. The Cub Scouts worked at the top of the hill and focused on pulling garlic mustard. This invasive species forms dense thickets that suppress the growth of native wildflowers like trout lilies and Virginia bluebells. Troop 553 worked in the Forest Outdoor Classroom to remove garlic mustard and Japanese honeysuckle, a fast-growing vine that can smother plantings.

The Wills family

We were also joined by several individuals and families! The Wills family helped us plant Eastern redbud and American sycamore trees along the Industrial Trail and ginkgo trees near the picnic area. While not native species, the ginkgoes are an important part of our Prehistoric Newlin nature walk program. Anthony Constable and Baoling Yu helped to get the Frog Pond Outdoor Classroom ready for field trip season by cleaning the boardwalk and adjusting water flow to make it easier for younger students to explore.

Volunteers from Scout Pack 168

Thank you so much to everybody who participated in Earth Month 2023 – the work you all did is already making a difference! If you or a group you belong to are interested in community service opportunities here in the park, be sure to contact my coworker Jessica at

Of course, if you do come to volunteer (or just to visit), be sure to stop by the Visitor Center to say hi to your friendly neighborhood corn snake!

– Cornelius

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