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Skip Navigation LinksDNREC : News : Volunteers needed Saturday, April 23 for Earth Day event to pot tree seedlings at the St. Jones Reserve near Dover

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Contact: Melanie Rapp, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902. 

Volunteers needed Saturday, April 23 for Earth Day event
to pot tree seedlings at the St. Jones Reserve near Dover

DOVER (April 14, 2016) – In honor of Earth Day, volunteers are needed to assist with planting native tree seedlings in pots from 9 - 11 a.m., Saturday, April 23 at the St. Jones Reserve, 818 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover, DE 19901. More than 500 seedlings – including loblolly pine, tulip poplars and red and silver maples – will be planted in pots by volunteers, then cared for in a greenhouse by Reserve staff until ready to go into the ground this fall for a restoration project. 

“On National Estuaries Day (Sept. 24), these seedlings will be planted at the Blackbird Creek Reserve, north of Smyrna,” said Maggie Pletta, education coordinator with the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve (DNERR), which includes the St. Jones and Blackbird Creek Reserves. “By putting the seedlings in pots now and then planting them as more mature seedlings in the future, we’re promoting volunteer participation in habitat stewardship by preserving an ecologically-valuable area along the Delaware Bayshore.”

While garden trowels will be provided for working with the seedlings, volunteers are encouraged to bring their own gloves. The potting event will be held outdoors, and volunteers asked to dress appropriately for the weather and in clothing conducive to a dirty job. Volunteers must be at least 13 years old to participate, and those between the ages of 13 and 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Preregistration for the event to pot seedlings at the St. Jones Reserve is required by contacting Maggie Pletta at 302-739-6377 or Volunteers are encouraged to register in advance to ensure that enough potting materials are available on the day of the event.    

For information on the Reserve’s volunteer program and other happenings there, please visit or find us on Facebook at Delaware NERR

The St. Jones Reserve and the Blackbird Creek Reserve are two components of the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve (DNERR), a cooperative program between the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Delaware Coastal Programs and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. As one of 28 National Estuarine Research Reserves protecting over 1.3 million acres of coastal and estuarine habitat across the country, DNERR serves as a place-based living laboratory and classroom to support local coastal research and long-term monitoring while advancing estuary literacy and generating meaningful experiences for all kinds of people interested in learning about, protecting and restoring the Delaware’s estuarine and coastal areas.

This project is part of DNREC’s Bayshore Initiative, a landscape approach to restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat, increase volunteer participation in habitat stewardship projects, enhance low-impact outdoor recreation and ecotourism opportunities, and promote associated environmentally compatible economic development. For more information, click Delaware Bayshore.

Vol. 46, No. 125

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