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Contact: Kathleen Kelly, (907) 683-9504
Ever wonder what it means to be Denali National Park and Preserve’s “Dandelion Queen?” Join her crew and other park staff for “Dandelion Demolition 2016” on Saturday, June 4 to celebrate National Trails Day.
This year the park is breaking with tradition; instead of typical trail work volunteers will take on the exciting and challenging world of resource stewardship and vegetation management in celebration of the National Park Service Centennial.
Volunteers will try their hands at exotic-invasive vegetation removal. They will learn the difference between native dandelions and invasive dandelions in the park, and then demolish the invaders.
Staff will set up several work areas so volunteers may choose where they would like to work and how far they would like to walk or hike to reach the sites. At least one work area will be near the Denali Park Road and one will be along the Mount Healy trail; volunteers can expect anywhere from a few hundred feet of walking over easy terrain to one to two miles of moderate hiking over uneven terrain.
Volunteers will use hand tools to properly dig up invasive dandelions and complete the project.
This is a great opportunity to learn how invasive species can harm the park's ecosystem and why it is so important to help native species thrive on the fragile tundra.
Volunteers who do not mind getting their hands dirty and who want to help maintain a part of this special place are encouraged to participate in National Trails Day.
Members of the vegetation and trail crews will meet participants at 9 am in the Denali Visitor Center automobile parking lot, located at Mile 1.2 on the Denali Park Road. Volunteers should look for the group in green and grey uniforms; and come prepared for a moderate work day and bring a daypack with water, lunch, snacks, clothing layers and rain gear.
The NPS will provide tools and safety equipment. Volunteers should be back at the parking lot by 2 pm.
Volunteers will receive thank-you gifts including vouchers for a future bus ride into the park which will also cover the park entrance fee. Overnight accommodations, dorm or campsite, are available to those who need them, but arrangements must be made in advance. To reserve a dorm room or campsite, contact the Denali National Park Volunteer Office at 907-683-9504.
Additional information about National Trails Day is available from the American Hiking Society’s website at and searching social media for #NationalTrailsDay.