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Pioneers, Scouts spruce up park

May 08, 1999|By SCOTT BUTKI

The Washington Monument State Park near Boonsboro received some improvements Saturday, courtesy of a group of volunteers.

About 40 Bell Atlantic Telephone Pioneers, joined by about 30 Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, worked from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday cleaning the park and attempting to make it more beautiful.

They re-roofed two youth shelters, brought and installed two new park benches, spread mulch and moved gravel, among other tasks.

Some of them even worked in the rain, simply changing clothes before resuming their jobs, said Joan Pope, of Lutherville, Md., the Pioneers' environmental chairperson.

The Pioneers are current and former Bell Atlantic employees. The Scouts are relatives of company employees. All of the volunteers are from Maryland, and about 10 of them are from Washington County.

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The Pioneers do one environmental project each year in addition to educational activities, said Sue Staley, chapter vice president, who lives in Hagerstown.

The group did some work at the park about five years ago and wanted to do more this year, she said. It was clear that the state government is not providing enough money to do some of the needed improvements, she said.

Friends of the Washington Monument thanked the volunteers by bringing them lunch.

"They are really thrilled we are here," Staley said.

Washington Monument State Park stands on Monument Knob, originally called The Blue Rock, a 1,550-foot peak of South Mountain on the Frederick-Washington County line, four miles east of Boonsboro.

The 34-foot monument, built in 1827, was the first one completed to honor George Washington, the nation's first president. Work on a Baltimore monument to Washington began earlier, in 1815, but was not finished until 1829.

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