Friday, September 26, 2008

National Public Lands Day- Give Something Back

news release of National Public Lands Day

Every year on the last Saturday in September (this year it's September 27), volunteers work to keep America's outdoor areas beautiful, as part of National Public Lands Day (NPLD). A program of the National Environmental Education Foundation, National Public Lands Day is the nation's largest cleanup of public lands, and helps carry on the legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps.

The efforts of the historic Civilian Conservation Corps not only benefited well-known campgrounds, but also prepared many soldiers for duty in World War II. This year marks both the 15th anniversary of NPLD and the 75th anniversary of the CCC. The Civilian Conservation Corps "Tree Army" planted 2.5 billion trees over nine years. This year volunteers and partnering organizations aim to plant 1 million trees in the days leading up to National Public Lands Day.

"This year is a landmark event for National Public Lands Day," said Robb Hampton, Program Director of National Public Lands Day. "This event furthers our goal of improving and enhancing public lands and parks and symbolizes the passing of a torch from one generation of conservationists to the next."

National Public Lands Day is an opportunity to get outdoors, travel to a new park or re-visit an old favorite while learning about history and making the community a nicer place. This year 120,000 volunteers are expected to participate, and it is a perfect volunteer opportunity for all ages

West Michigan events will be held at:
  1. Augusta- Fort Custer- Tree planting and establishment of handicap accesible hunting locations.
  2. Empire- Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore- Volunteers will take part in a beach cleanup on Lake Michigan in conjunction with the Alliance for the Great Lakes and the Ocean Conservancy's International Coastal Cleanup.
  3. Battle Creek- Leila Arboretum- Nurturing the Native Garden (includes selected Native plants of Michigan); The Annual Annual Pull; The Leila Arboretum Mulch March; The Partial Peck Tree Planting.
  4. Rockford- Luton Park- A portion of social trail reclaimed for the multi use natural surface trail system will require erosion control. Trail work will include a slight reroute and several rolling grade dips to control water flow during storms. Above the trail area sustained heavy tree loss in a spring ice storm. Additional water flow control will be attained by native tree plantings on a park boundary with a private owner, also shielding public use from private use.

NPLD began in 1994 with three federal agencies and 700 volunteers. Last year 110,000 volunteers worked in 1,300 locations and in every state. Now, eight federal agencies and many state and local lands participate in this annual day of caring for shared lands. NPLD continues the promise of the Civilian Conservation Corps, the "tree army" that worked from 1933-1942 to preserve and protect America's natural heritage.

See National Public Lands Day
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