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Walter J. Chavez, Superintendent, San Juan National Historic Site announces the observance of National Public Lands Day (NPLD) on Saturday, September 27th from 9am to 12pm at Paseo del Morro trail starting at the San Juan Gate. NPLD is the nation's largest hands-on volunteer effort to improve and enhance America’s public lands. Last year over 100,000 volunteers built trails and bridges, planted trees and plants, and removed trash and invasive plants. At San Juan NHS last year, approximately a 100 volunteers picked up over 4 tons of garbage from the area surrounding Fort San Juan de la Cruz (Cañuelo) in Isla De Cabras.
“This event gives volunteers an opportunity to help preserve the historic fortifications that make up San Juan National Historic Site.”, said Superintendent Chavez. This year’s NPLD event will focus on cleaning this high traffic, 1.5 mile long trail listed in the National Trails System as the “Paseo del Morro National Recreation Trail” since 1998. This trail is enjoyed by Old San Juan residents and tourists alike and it’s also seen by visitors from approaching cruise ships. After the clean up NPS staff will present a talk on the site’s history and preservation work done to protect this national treasure. The NPS and Fundación Toyota de Puerto Rico will supply volunteers with the needed equipment. Volunteers should bring water, snacks, hats and sunscreen and wear and comfortable clothes and footwear.
Participants will receive a pass that allows free entry during the next year to any public land site managed by five federal agencies in the US and PR. Those agencies, which have entry fees, are the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and USDA Forest Service. In Puerto Rico they include San Juan National Historic Site, and El Yunque National Forest.
For more information about the park, the event or to sign up as a volunteer please contact the park at (787) 729-6777. San Juan National Historic Site consists of Fort San Felipe del Morro, Fort San Cristóbal, Fort Juan de La Cruz (Cañuelo), the San Juan Gate and City Wall. The site is open everyday except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day.