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    Sterling, Cascades & CountrySide
    Sterling Boulevard: Cleaning up
    Spring cleaning – because cleaning isn’t bad enough by itself, you have to add a season to it. I’m not questioning the necessity of cleaning (though the state of my house might say otherwise), but why attach it to the season that makes you want to get out of the house the most. Why not hazy hot and humid cleaning? I’d be all in for that.

    However, if you’re into the spring cleaning tradition, here are some events that can help you reach your cleaning goals inside your house and help our local park reach its cleaning goals in the great outdoors.

    We all know the biggest hurdle to cleaning is the endless supply of things. It’s just much easier to get things than it is to get rid of things you don’t need. I bet if you stood in the middle of your living room and circled it with your eyes, you’d find a number of things that either you don’t use or don’t need. You might even see some items that you don’t remember how they got there. And don’t even think about your child’s toy box. Now you could throw these things away, but wouldn’t it be better to put these items to good use and help a local organization fund its outreach programs?

    St. Matthews at 201 E. Frederick Drive is holding a huge community yard sale on Saturday, April 26, from 8 a.m. until noon. The funds raised will help them continue to provide services to the entire community. Just drop your stuff by the church by Friday, April 25. Then remember to stop by on Saturday to find some great bargains and to replace all that stuff you just donated. For more information, visit http://www.stmatthewssterling.org.

    Now that your own house is taken care of, let’s move to the great outdoors. This week, we celebrate Earth Day, and there’s no better place in the area to experience the beauty of nature than Claude Moore Park, right off Cascades Parkway. You can help out on this Saturday from 9 a.m. until noon by clearing trails and cleaning up streams. This a great volunteer opportunity for groups interested in doing something a little unique. You must register to help out by calling 571-258-3700 by Friday, April 25.

    Do you have an event coming up? Let me know about it at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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    CountrySide/Cascades: Celebrating Earth Day
    April 22 is Earth Day, an ecological awareness celebration launched in 1970 that led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act. In eastern Loudoun, green-focused members of the community are offering a variety of opportunities in honor of the event to help make our little corner of the world an even greener place.

    Claude Moore Park hosts an Earth Day cleanup at the park on Saturday, April 26, from 9 a.m. until noon. The free session, open to all ages, focuses on the cleanup of trails and streams, as well as trail maintenance. Groups and individual volunteers should register to participate by Friday, April 25. To register, call 571-258-3700.

    CountrySide presents its annual Spring Clean Up, in partnership with Earth Day and Keep Loudoun Beautiful, on April 26 beginning at 10 a.m. in the parking lot of the Parkway Pool on Algonkian Boulevard. Breakfast snacks and beverages will be provided to volunteers. Trash bags and gloves will be supplied from 10 until 11 a.m. To participate, contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

    The Cascades Green Team got an early start on Earth Day with a cleanup event at the beginning of April and continues to spearhead a variety of earth-friendly activities throughout the spring season. At the most recent Cascades board meeting, the team provided support for the installation of a way station for monarch butterflies, to help their northward migration. The board approved the station, which will be installed at the Lowes Island Community Center by a local Boy Scout troop and is expected to be completed by spring or summer.

    The Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy is leading a campaign to help the endangered monarch butterfly. The program focuses on sharing tips for restoring habitat, such as planting milkweed and fall nectar plants; planting monarch way stations; raising and releasing monarchs and presenting community awareness activities. Detailed information is online at http://www.loudounwildlife.org/Monarch_Campaign_About.html.

    Golf tournament:The 9th annual Dominion Classic Golf Tournament to benefit Dominion High School takes place Monday, May 19, at Belmont Country Club, with registration at 10 a.m. and a shotgun start at noon. The day includes a hole-in-one contest featuring an opportunity to win a car, a $5,000 putting contest, food and beverages, a reception, raffle and silent auction. The cost is $250 per golfer. For information, call Dave Ledwell at 703-606-0105 or go to teeupfortitans.com.

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    Sterling Boulevard: Better to give
    Sometimes, it’s easy to let the bad and the people who aren’t great convince you that the world is just filled with awful humans. All you have to do is turn on the news and you see examples of people just doing really horrible things and you can let yourself get bit depressed. But here’s why you shouldn’t – at least not about the people in Sterling.

    Everybody Clean Up: On Saturday, April 12, a bunch of volunteers (I counted about 15) met at Gwen Thompson Briar Patch Park to wear snazzy orange vests and clean up Sterling Boulevard. They picked up litter from the side of our busiest street and made our neighborhood look not only better but appreciated by those of us lucky enough to live here. The Sterling Foundation, sterlingfoundation.org, sponsors this important event and works tirelessly to make Sterling a nicer place to be. They also sponsor SterlingFest! The group is always looking for volunteers and help, so this is your chance to be part of something awesome.

    Eggs for Everyone: The non-scientific count had over 300 children at the Community Egg Hunt this weekend, sponsored by St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Sterling. Volunteer-run and free to whoever showed up, the egg hunt included face painting, crafts and sparkle tattoos for all who came. The entire playground at Gwen Thompson Briar Patch Park was dotted with eggs for the finding – and not an egg was left at the end.

    Walk for a Cause: Later this month, Rolling Ridge Elementary will be holding a walk-a-thon to raise money for a new track at the elementary school. If you’ve ever driven by the school, you know it won’t be just kids using the track. Many in our community use the grounds of the school for keeping fit, playing sports and flying some gorgeous kites on warm windy Saturdays. If you know a Rolling Ridge family, ask how you can sponsor a child in the walk-a-thon. If you just want to help, you can donate at http://www.rollingridgewalk.org.

    Did your organization, place of worship or school do something great – or do you need some help doing something great? Tell me about it. I know there are wonderful things going out in our community that people should hear about. Just let me know at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and I’ll be happy to get the word out.
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    CountrySide: A worldwide celebration of books
    CountrySide: Cleaning up with the Cascades Green Team
    Sterling Boulevard: The hunt is on
    CountrySide: Local authors in the spotlight, family fun at Claude Moore Park, Boy Scout fundraiser
    CountrySide: ‘Crop for a Cause’ in Broad Run
    CountrySide: Raise the roof for the troops
    From Sudan to Seneca Ridge
    St. Baldrick comes to Sterling
    A Valentine Gift to Educators
    The Snow Angels of Broad Run
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