Cornelius' Corner:

"Making the Park a Better Place on Earth Day!"

Cornelius’ Corner: “Making the Park a Better Place on Earth Day!”

GS Troop #05675 clearing invasive plants along the Frog Pond drainage.

Hi friends – Cornelius here! Did you know that this year marks the 52nd anniversary of the first Earth Day? It is celebrated each year as a way to acknowledge that humans have an impact on the world around them and encourage actions that help to minimize that impact. This year, my coworkers celebrated Earth Day over the whole month of April, with volunteers coming together each Saturday to work on projects around the park!

This year, we had 10 groups and lots of individuals and families who came out to help us celebrate. We worked on lots of different projects, including planting trees, removing invasive plant species like Japanese Wineberry and Garlic Mustard from along the park’s trails, and even installing a new greenhouse up by the Trimble House!

BS Troop #154 poses for a photo after working in the Forest Restoration Area.

I got a chance to talk to Gwen Armstrong, who is celebrating her 5th Earth Day with the park this year.

C: What is your favorite part of Earth Day every year?

G: I usually volunteer with my son Chase, so it’s great to get a chance to spend some time with him. I also love getting a chance to meet other people from the community who care about the park.

C: Have you had a favorite task or project?

G: I love everything we do to take care of the park, but planting is my favorite. Whether it’s trees or other plants, it’s wonderful to come back through the park later and see the work everyone’s accomplished!

C: Have you learned something while participating in Earth Day that you think others might like to know?

G: I’ve learned that there are a lot of great people in the community who care deeply about Newlin Grist Mill and about the environment.

A volunteer from Agilent Technologies removes invasive plants from the Forest Restoration Area.

As a snake without hands, I’m not very good at working with tools, but I’ve enjoyed being able to cheer on all of our volunteers from my tank! I can’t wait to check out the new greenhouse and explore the beautiful trails this summer.

Interested in volunteering on nature projects even outside of Earth Month? You can contact my coworker Jessica at to sign up! Don’t forget to stop by the Visitor Center to say hi when you come to volunteer. 😊

– Cornelius

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