Fee Free Day at Sleeping Bear Dunes
Contact: Paul Purifoy, 231-326-5134
Saturday, September 29, 2007 is National Public Lands Day (NPLD) across the country: a day where fees are waived and volunteers participate in special events which beckon “Lend a hand, it’s your land.” At Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, it will be free to access the Dune Climb, Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive, Glen Haven, Port Oneida, Platte Point, North and South Manitou Islands, and all the trails and beaches managed by the National Park Service. Volunteers are needed to conduct a beach cleanup and to assist our partner group, Preserve Historic Sleeping Bear (Preserve), in restoring an historic farm shed in Port Oneida. As a token of our appreciation, all volunteers will receive a coupon for another free entrance at a later date to the Lakeshore, or any other federally managed land.
The 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. All supplies, handouts and materials will be provided. Volunteers for this project should meet the Park Rangers at 1:00 p.m. at the Visitor Center in Empire.
The work project on the Peter Burfiend farm is just one of the many ways Preserve is making a difference at the National Lakeshore. Skilled volunteer carpenters are needed to help save a building which is in serious condition and ready to fall. It is one of the structures on the historic landscape that helps to tell the story of farm life in the Port Oneida Rural Historic District. For details on what to take and where to meet, volunteers for this project should see the following link: PHSB Project or call Preserve at (231) 334-6103.
Also 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 three 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.
“Volunteer efforts create a strong base of support for the health and vitality of our public lands.” said Dusty Shultz, National Lakeshore Superintendent. “Through this hands-on event, individuals raise awareness, educate others, and really make a difference. We, in the National Park Service, are proud of the citizens of the United States who donate their time to working with us.”
To join in the activities, be prepared for being outdoors, rain or shine. For more information, call the park headquarters at (231) 326-5134.