(This speech was given at the re-dedication of Mother's Garden in Downs Park on Earth Day 1990)

By Rick Holt

On behalf of the staff of Downs Park and the Department of Recreation and Parks I would like to welcome everyone to our celebration. We're here to REMEMBER. To remember our roots, to look at this beautiful garden that was first built more than three quarters of a century ago. This garden is a symbol of what just a few dedicated persons can accomplish. It is a symbol of the greening of Mother Earth and it is a symbol of what our park system stands for. In the purest sense Downs Park provides you with a place for recreation, for RE -creation. And Mother's Garden is such a beautiful example of that opportunity.

We're here to REDEDICATE. To rededicate this beautiful garden and to unveil a charming addition to the garden. Ranger Dennis Cloutier will have a little more to say about that later. And Ranger David DeVault will introduce the new wildlife area which will sit behind Mother's Garden.

And we're here to RESOLVE to do better. Where were you on Earth Day 20 years ago? (pause) As I recall I was dodging phone calls from a Marine recruiter and planning my next fishing trip. Earth Day of 20 years ago passed me right by and was little more than a media event that I watched on TV along with the news about that far away place the Marine recruiter thought I would like to visit. I don't recall participating in any of the day's events, but I do recall being inspired to do my part to save the earth. Well, to make a long story short, I got to visit that far away place and survived to return to college where I studied conservation. Earth Day of 20 years ago had been my inspiration to pursue a career in the great outdoors. Over the past 15 years I've worked at parks and forest throughout the state. And ladies and gentleman, I'm here to tell you that Downs Park is the best. And not only that, but we resolve to do better!

We resolve to do our part in spreading the message of Earth Day and in keeping that dream alive into the next decade. You may have heard over the last week of media coverage on Earth Day about the 3 R's -- Reduce, reuse, and recycle.You'll hear that message in our programming effort here at the park.You'll hear it at concert time, you'll hear itat birdwalks, you'll here it over and over again. It is that important! You'll be hearing more from us about the Chesapeake Bay. The health of the Bay is a barometer of the health of our little piece of Mother Earth here in Anne Arundel County.

Ladies and Gentleman, let us accentuate the positive. Let's get on with the celebration. Let us REMEMBER. Let us REDEDICATE. And let us RESOLVE to take the message of Earth Day 1990 and carry it into the next decade Enjoy the celebration. Thank you!

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