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Contact: Vickie Carson, 270-758-2192
You can make a difference in the care and protection of Mammoth Cave National Park. Come volunteer in the park 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. on September 24, National Public Lands Day. The park will also offer free Discovery and Mammoth Passage cave tours in honor of the day.
"Like all public lands, we need the public's help to maintain and protect the park," said Superintendent Patrick Reed. "The work group will meet at the First Creek Trailhead at 9:00 a.m., and work for three to four hours. We hope to improve a short section of First Creek Trail between the trailhead and Clell Road."
Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable work clothes and footwear appropriate to walking on rough, uneven terrain, and bring gloves, sunscreen, insect repellent, snacks, and water. The group will walk to the worksite; work will consist of shoveling, raking, cutting brush, overhead trimming and lifting.
"Trail work is considered strenuous, so please consider your own health and limitations before volunteering," added Reed. "We often say that volunteers invest 'sweat equity' in the park. There are many jobs that wouldn't get done without them."
On September 24, visitors must pick up their free Discovery tickets at the visitor center ticket office between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. CT, and then walk to the Historic Entrance to begin their tour.
One free guided Mammoth Passage tour will depart from the visitor center at 4:30; the tour is limited to 40 people; visitors must pick up their free tickets at visitor center ticket office prior to tour times. The ¾-mile, 1¼ hours Mammoth Passage tour requires a walk down and up the hill below the visitor center, as well as 68 steps at the Historic Entrance.
The Mammoth Cave Discovery Tour enters the cave at the Historic Entrance, then traces through Houchins Narrows, the Rotunda, nitre mining artifacts, Audubon Avenue, and Rafinesque Hall. These are some of the mammoth passages for which the cave was named. Being a self-guided tour, the Mammoth Cave Discovery Tour gives visitors the freedom to travel at a brisk walk or a slow stroll. Visitors are required to navigate the steep hill to and from the cave entrance, as well as 64 steps into and out of the cave. Allow at least 30 minutes for the tour, a ¾-mile round trip from the visitor center. Ranger guides are stationed along the route inside the cave to answer questions.
Additional fee free days in 2011 are:
- October 22 & 29, for Edmonson, Hart, Barren and Warren County residents; and
- November 11-13, Veterans Day weekend.
Camping fees and fees for other tours of Mammoth Cave will not be waived on these days. The Park does not charge a general entrance fee.
The 395 units of the National Park Service care for special places saved by the American people so that all may experience our heritage. For more information, log on to www.nps.gov.
Please note regarding white-nose syndrome (WNS) in bats: While there are no known harmful effects to humans, WNS is responsible for the deaths of more than a million hibernating bats across the eastern United States since its discovery in 2006. WNS has not been found in Mammoth Cave to date, however, park staff are taking precautions to minimize the spread of WNS fungus to or from Mammoth Cave. When going on a Mammoth Cave tour, do not wear clothing or shoes that have been worn in other caves or mines. All participants on cave tours must walk on bio-security mats immediately following the conclusion of their tour.
- NPS -