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Contact: Shelia Reed, 256-495-2672
Activities including harvesting of nuts and berries, planting of the vegetable garden, and a Cherokee Friendship Dance are scheduled for the 20th Annual National Public Lands Day at Russell Cave National Monument in Bridgeport, Alabama from 10:00 am to 3:00 pmSaturday September 28, 2013. To access the location of the activities, visitors should follow the brown "Russell Cave National Monument" signs on County Roads 75 and 98 and Highway 72 northeast of Alabama 117.A gathering of staff, volunteers and the public will collect edible native botanicals that will be used for the park's cultural demonstrations from 10a.m. to noon. There will be a break to allow volunteers and the public to harvest nuts and berries for their personal use. Snacks and water will be available.
Following the harvesting activity there will be a Cherokee Friendship Dance of healing led by Frank and Jerry Villegas in remembrance of the Trail of Tears; the forced removal of the American Indians from this area 175 years ago. Nearly 3000 people were removed on the Overland/Drane Route and the Water Route to lands out west.
We will provide buckets, grabbers, and gloves for volunteers helping with the harvest. Participants should wear appropriate clothing and shoes to accommodate for weather and terrain and bring work gloves, insect repellent, water, and a lunch.
National Public Lands Day began in 1994 with three sites and 700 volunteers. It proved to be a huge success and has become a yearly tradition. National Public Lands Day keeps the promise of the Civilian Conservation Corps, the "tree army" that worked from 1933-1942 to preserve and protect America's natural heritage. In 2012 there were 175,000 volunteers nation-wide removing invasive plants, maintaining 1,500 miles of trail, planting 100,000 trees, and removing 500 tons of trash.
National Park Superintendent Gail Bishop invite the public to participate in this event. For more information call (256)495-2672. You can follow our updates and find park pictures on Facebook at "rucanps" or visit our webpage at www.nps.gov/ruca.