ROCKVILLE -- The volunteer organization Friends of Turkey Run and Shades State Parks has been awarded a 2012 Every Day Grant from the National Environ-mental Edu-cation Foundation (NEEF).
Designed to improve the stewardship of public lands, the Every Day Grant will be used by the Friends to broaden outreach, recruit volunteers and increase support for Turkey Run and Shades State Parks.
Since 2002, the friends have been dedicated to preserving and enhancing the natural and cultural resources of the parks.
Its volunteers assist with park maintenance, development of educational programs, building projects, scientific research and other services that lead to a better understanding of the region's history and ecological characteristics.
The group also organizes popular events, including Eagles in Flight, a weekend devoted to the region's eagle population. The event, which includes a nesting and roosting site tour, is held the first weekend in February.
The friends group offers a wide range of enriching opportunities for all ages and abilities. New members and volunteers are always welcome.
According to NEEF, volunteer groups are becoming increasingly vital to the maintenance of public parks and lands.
"With stretched budgets and limited staff, public lands need all the help they can get," said NEEF President Diane Wood. "That help often comes from friends groups or other volunteer organizations."
Major funding for the Every Day Grant is provided by Toyota Motor Sales USA. Of nearly 300 applicants, Friends of Turkey Run and Shades State Parks was one of 50 grant recipients in 2012.
For more information on Friends of Turkey Run and Shades State Parks and to learn how to become involved, visit www.trssp.org or call Nancy Swaim at 569-5148.