Towne Salute: Lara Mulvaney of South River Federation
Jul 25, 2017 09:00AM ● Published by Nicole Gould
Growing up, Lara Mulvaney had a hankering for the outdoors, which ultimately fueled her interest for environmental restoration and education.
Continuing this interest into adulthood, Mulvaney remains passionate about the environment by promoting, protecting, and developing new ways for community engagement as a volunteer for the South River Federation (SRF) and as a Master Watershed Steward for Anne Arundel County.
“I was looking to get involved with something and I knew the stream in my backyard connected to the South River, so I looked them up,” Mulvaney admits. “It’s a very robust organization. They have a lot of different programs in place and the people are great. They really have a passion for the environment. Put all that together and it seemed like a good fit for me to begin volunteering with them.”
Volunteering for the SRF since 2009, Mulvaney’s worked on restoration projects, planting trees, testing water quality, planning field trips, executing presentations, and she recently created a series of GPS maps for the organization.
“She is a super volunteer,” SRF Volunteer Program Coordinator Nancy Merrill admits. “She is responsible for removing tons of invasive vines and plants that are choking our native trees. I don’t know much she hasn’t done for us over the years. She alerts us where projects need to go and helps them get off the ground.”
While continuing to work on behalf of the SRF, Mulvaney has developed numerous tactics throughout her neighborhood aimed at organizing restoration projects, writing grants, and being a part of the Board of Directors. She works directly with her neighbors in hopes of getting funds to help combat invasive species and protect the woodlands, which buffer the stream adjacent.
“All my work with my neighborhood is directly benefiting the stream that runs to the South River,” Mulvaney admits. “It’s all about community engagement and helping people understand what we do on the land effects the quality of water and the river. It’s not just about the river, for me it’s the benefit of the effect my volunteerism has.”
As the Master Watershed Steward for AAC since 2009, Mulvaney works in the south river watershed area, educating neighbors and communities in Davidsonville, Edgewater, and Crofton about what they can do to mitigate storm water pollution.
Wanting to further her education, Mulvaney currently attends Community College of Baltimore County, where she is working towards achieving a certificate in Geographic Information Systems.
“Getting knowledge has helped me make the GPS maps for the SRF,” Mulvaney says. “I can do a lot more than that too. Geographic Information System allows you to make informative decisions, perform analysis on data, location components, and help other people make decisions. There are a lot of tools involved with it.”
Mulvaney believes that being a volunteer for the South River Federation has been extremely beneficial and encourages residents to volunteer or do something supportive for the environment on their own behalf. The SRF offers a lot of opportunities and can find an area that will fit your interest and needs.
“Everybody can do something to be helpful,” Mulvaney explains. “Whether you think you live on land, anywhere in Anne Arundel County, you only live within a minute or two of a stream that goes to one of our rivers. Everyone can do something beneficial to improve the quality of water in those steams. We all have a responsibility as residents.”