Lakeshore Hosts Beach Cleanup for National Public Lands Day
Contact: Lisa Myers, 231-326-5134
If you love the sun, fun, and beauty of our area beaches, now you can show it! Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is celebrating National Public Lands Day (NPLD) on Saturday, September 27, and inviting the public to help cleanup the Lakeshore’s beaches. Bring your family, your class, your troop, your group, or just yourself, and join others in protecting our treasured coastline by collecting and tallying everything found along the beach: plastic bags, balloons, cigarettes, 6-pack holders—you name it!
National Public Lands Day is the largest volunteer hands-on activity of its kind in the country. Held in September each year, the event brings together thousands of individual and organizational volunteers to refurbish and restore the country’s public lands. These are the places Americans use for outdoor recreation, education, and just plain enjoyment. They encompass national parks, monuments, wildlife refuges, forests, grasslands, marine sanctuaries, lakes, and reservoirs managed by government agencies, but belonging to, and enjoyed by, all of us.
And, to celebrate National Public Lands Day, entrance to all national parks, including Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, is free on September 27th, 2008.
The Sleeping Bear Dunes beach cleanup coincides with the International Coastal Cleanup, sponsored by the Ocean Conservancy, which takes place around the world every year. Participants not only contribute to cleaner coastlines, but collect data from the debris they pick up. That data is then compiled and analyzed by the Ocean Conservancy and locally, by the Alliance for the Great Lakes, a non-profit group concerned with the future of the Great Lakes.
The beach cleanup starts at noon and lasts until 3:00 p.m. Park rangers and volunteers will meet at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Visitor Center, located on Highway M-72 in Empire. Volunteers should bring water to drink, wear weather-appropriate clothes (we go rain or shine), sunscreen or hat, and closed-toed shoes. Tools and other needed materials will be supplied.
As a token of our appreciation, each volunteer will receive a free, one-day pass good for entrance to any federal land (national forest, national park site, wildlife refuge) before September 26, 2009. Credit for three hours of community service will also be available, if interested.
Participating in NPLD activities again this year is a group of local paddlers who kayak and canoe the lower Platte River while collecting trash along the way. Lois Goldstein of Williamsburg, MI, has organized the spring and fall cleanups for the past four years because of her love of this spectacular Lakeshore waterway. The paddlers start at the Platte River Picnic Area and take out at Platte Point. They will host their cleanup the following day - Sunday, September 28.
For details, please call Susan Sanders at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, (231) 326-5134, ext. 507.