Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adam Dunn Friday extended an invitation to state park visitors to join her in a day of volunteer service to improve state parks by taking part in National Public Lands Day events across Pennsylvania on September. 24.
“They are a vital cornerstone in our state park system and when Saturday dawns at state parks across Pennsylvania, hundreds of volunteers will be putting on the work gloves and boots and tackling important projects,” said Dunn, who will be at Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center and participating in a Get Outdoors PA Festival panel discussion at the Northampton County facility. “Each year National Public Lands Day brings together more than 150,000 volunteers across the nation to refurbish and restore public places. This year, their ranks will be swelled by participants at 14 of our state parks.”
Marking its 21th year and billed as the nation’s largest hands-on volunteer effort to improve and enhance public lands Americans enjoy, National Public Lands Day is offered by the National Environmental Education Foundation to encourage and salute public contributions in parks, forests and open lands across the nation.
“Whether it’s battling invasive vegetation at Cumberland County’s Pine Grove Furnace State Park, or trail work at Oil Creek in Venango County, National Public Lands Day gives each of us a chance to contribute to the betterment of our public lands for this and future generations of Americans,” said Dunn. “Local volunteers turning out Saturday will have a unique chance to give something back to their country, their community, and the state parks that serve them. I encourage everyone to consider lending a helping hand.”
In 2009, in their initial involvement, 12 Pennsylvania state parks hosted National Public Lands Day events.
This year, 14 state parks and environmental education centers will host volunteer groups in the national effort to improve and preserve habitat on public lands.
Project details, registration and other information can be found online.
In addition to Jacobsburg, DCNR will oversee National Public Lands Day volunteer workdays at the following sites: Chapman, Warren County; Cowans Gap, Fulton County; Delaware Canal, Bucks County; Jennings Environmental Education Center, Butler County; Kings Gap Environmental Education Center, Cumberland County; Little Buffalo, Perry County; Nescopeck Environmental Education Center, Luzerne County; Nockamixon, Bucks County; Ohiopyle, Fayette County; Pine Grove, Cumberland County; Promised Land, Pike County; Ralph Stover, Bucks County; and Sinnamahoning, Cameron County.
To participate at one of the state parks, contact that park’s offices before September 24, to pre-register and inquire about possible inclement weather, starting times, meetings places and other details.
Pennsylvania volunteers will join a workforce across the country that is committed to carrying on the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps, the “tree army” that exemplified land stewardship from 1933-1942 by preserving and protecting America's natural heritage.
The National Environmental Education Foundation, which has managed and coordinated the annual all-day effort from its start in 1994, estimates that the volunteers’ work, along with community contributions of food, tools and equipment, will result in improvements valued at more than $8 million.
National Public Lands Day is a public-private partnership involving DCNR and many other state, federal, and local land and conservation agencies. The National Environmental Education Foundation manages, coordinates and generates financial support for the program.
For information about volunteering in Pennsylvania’s state parks and forestlands throughout the year, visit DCNR’s Conservation Volunteer Program webpage.
For more information on Pennsylvania’s state parks, forests and other recreational resources, visit DCNR’s website, Click Here to sign up for the Resource newsletter, Click Here to be part of DCNR’s Online Community, Click Here to hook up with DCNR on other social media-- Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.
For other ideas on how to support state parks and forests, visit the PA Parks & Forests Foundation website. Click Here to sign up for regular updates from the Foundation, Like them on Facebook or Follow them on Twitter.(Photo: DCNR Resource newsletter, April 13, 2016.)