National Public Lands Day - A Day to Help
More than 170,000 volunteers are expected at more than 2,100 sites across the country on Saturday, September 29 to take part in the largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands in the United States, National Public Lands Day (NPLD).
Volunteers in every state will visit parks, public and community gardens, beaches, wildlife preserves or forests and chip in to help these treasured places that belong to all Americans. They will improve and restore the lands and facilities the public uses for recreation, education, exercise and connecting with nature.
Saturday is a Fee Free day, as Scotts Bluff National Monument will be hosting volunteers to help with some of the park's projects.Park Ranger AJ Legault says, "This year we are concentrating our efforts on the eradication/control of invasive plant species.Mostly along the Oregon Trail, and our Summit Road, we are seeing large populations of Russian Thistle, Sand Burrs, and other species that don't belong on our prairie."Park Staff will be working alongside volunteers in an effort to educate about prairie ecology.
This year's effort will take place Saturday September 29th from 8am to 11am.Those wishing to volunteer are asked to call Scotts Bluff National Monument's Visitor Center at 436-9700 to sign up.Tools, gloves, and refreshments will be provided.Volunteers are asked to bring items to kneel on if they desire.
"With one-third of America's land in public hands, NPLD provides an opportunity for volunteers of all ages to help sustain these lands," said Robb Hampton, director of the public lands program of the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF), which coordinates NPLD. "Volunteers can also spend time after their tasks to enjoy the lands, whether at a local green space or national park. Many sites offer nature hikes, bike rides, picnics or other outdoor activities."
Did You Know?
The 1.6 mile Saddle Rock Trail leads hikers from the Scotts Bluff National Monument Visitor Center to the summit. Though the wagon ruts have eroded away, the 1/2 mile Oregon Trail Pathway runs from the Visitor Center to the remnants and roadbed of the Oregon Trail.