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“One is not born into the world to do everything but to do something.”
--Henry David Thoreau.
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Annapolis River Guard

Volunteer's Cleaning River All mammals need oxygen. The thing is, so do fish. We often forget this, because they are under water and we aren’t.

However, this is a problem for fish and other organisms in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, because the Clean Water Act has declared large regions of the watershed “impaired.” One such body is the Challenger River, which is considered unhealthy because of its low levels of dissolved oxygen (what the fish and other underwater wildlife need) and the river’s dead zones (areas having no dissolved oxygen).

But not everyone is content to stand by and watch the rivers die. Enter the Annapolis River Guard. The mission of this organization is to reduce pollutants, sediments, and nitrates going into the Chesapeake Watershed, which can cause dead zones.

In 2008, the Annapolis River Guard Program joined forces with the Chesapeake Bay Restoration to reduce farm run-off by promoting cover crops. Boosted by a push for more environmentally friendly foods and public education, nitrates entering the Bay have dropped 36% in the last year.

Interested in helping out or donating funds? Contact the Annapolis River Guard organization at 111-111-1111 or email them at

*Annapolis River Guard is also willing to help students out with their volunteer hours.

Chessie Group

Profile on Aldo Price

Aldo Price Aldo Price is a sixty-nine year old retired hydroelectric engineer who has made himself known at the Ridge Wood Nature Center for his passion for woodworking. Aldo has always done around-the-house type repairs, but after he retired and suddenly found himself with a lot more free time on his hands, he began to hand-craft bird houses and bat houses for his neighbors and friends.

Aldo says he didn’t considered teaching until another volunteer from the nature center saw one of his birdhouses at a silent auction and asked him if he’d be willing to teach a class in basic bird house building. "I said, sure why not, he said, "it’s not like I have to work for a living anymore. So I do something good for the environment. I build homes for God’s creatures and make their lives a little easier, like mine is now."

Readers' Response to Our August 2008 Article "Shared Backyard Parks"

As a resident on from one of the “greened” blocks featured in your article, I would encourage anyone who has the chance to do this. Our neighbor got us started and my wife is even talking about adding some potted vegetables next summer. Creating the alley park brought our whole block together. It looks ten times better now and we’ve made some good friendships in the process. A big thanks to all of you on Ash Street.
– Paul Reston
I was writing in response to your article on greening Baltimore’s alleyways. I had never heard of alley gating until I read your piece, but now that I have, I’m all for it. I think it’s just what Baltimore needs, especially as more and more homes go into foreclosure. Apartments are crumbling all over the city and this is a great way to add a little more beauty to a city that has it’s fair share of problems. – Cynthia Roads
It’s amazing what such a small change can do. We’ve had such a difficult time keeping trouble-makers from trashing the property behind and in between the houses in my neighborhood. Me and my family we can’t afford to live someplace nicer, but recently our landlord joined the housing association and the local community group in a project to make our gateways nicer and more like parks. Vandalism doesn’t happen so often now and the view out my window has gotten a lot nicer.
– Grace Patrick