Patch on Monday announced Patapsco Heritage Greenway as the winner of a $500 donation.
The group — which was named "Friends of the Patapsco Valley and Heritage Greenway" until an — was nominated by readers among more than 50 environmental nonprofits and . More than 15 commenters praised the organization, which will receive $500 from Patch to further its cause.
"Thank you so much!!!" wrote John Slater, president of the organization, in an email upon learning of the prize. "We can really use the money!"
Support for the group on Patch was strong.
"Friends of Patapsco Heritage Greenway is one of the most determined and dedicated organizations around!," one commenter wrote.
"In the past six years, they have conducted over 180 cleanups removing over 264 tons of trash/junk (that's the weight of 45 elephants or 31 school buses!) from the Patapsco River watershed, with over 6,000 volunteers!" wrote another.
According to the group's website, it encourages the positive management of the Patapsco Valley and its visitors as well as develops educational materials about the environment and history of the valley.
The Patapsco Valley State Park extends along 32 miles of the Patapsco River, encompassing 16,043 acres and eight developed recreational areas near the urban centers of Catonsville, Elkridge, Ellicott City and Baltimore.
"Our motivation is to ensure that the Patapsco Valley remains pleasant for our generation and for future generations," according to the group's website.
One of Patch's founding principles was that people are interested in helping their communities through volunteering, and the contest was an expression of that idea.
All Patch sites in Maryland ran the contest. Click to see the other organizations highlighted and for full contest rules.
(If you voted in the contest or read with interest and would like to blog about environmental or other issues on Patch, click the "start a blog" link and write about your interests.)