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Contact: Lisa Myers, 231-326-5134
Not only are there five Saturdays this September, but one of them is a fee-free day for all National Park sites! Five new programs will be featured this month on topics ranging from trees to grasses and coyotes to insects, walks through the dunes, and even a special guest lecturer. September 30, 2006 is National Public Lands Day (NPLD) when across the nation, thousands of volunteers “Take Pride in America” and do their part to clean up parks, build trails, plant trees, etc. in national parks, forests and wildlife refuges. At Sleeping Bear Dunes that day, all are invited to participate in a beach cleanup in conjunction with the Alliance for the Great Lakes Adopt-a-Beach Program. That day, entrance to all public lands is free and anyone volunteering will receive a free pass to use on another day in the future.
National Park Rangers look forward to sharing some of their favorite subjects and special places around the Lakeshore with you. Always meet at the Visitor Center in Empire on Highway M-72 at 1:00 p.m. Then, depending on the topic, after a brief introduction, the group might drive a short distance to hike a trail.
September 2 - Protecting Your Trees
Emerald Ash Borer, Oak Wilt, Beech Bark Disease, Oak Twig Pruner and other crazy insects are problems for some trees. What are they, where are they, and what can you do to keep them out of your property? This is your chance to ask an expert for help. Michigan State University Extension Agricultural Agent, Dr. Duke Elsner will speak about tree diseases in the Visitor Center auditorium. There is no hike on this day.
September 9 - Survival on a Sand Dune - Cottonwood Trail Hike
Explore the dune plateau with a ranger and see how plants and animals have adapted to life in the dry, windy environment of the dunes. Drinking water and sturdy walking shoes will help you survive in this habitat!
September 16 - Daytime Coyote Howl
Coyotes within the Lakeshore become quite vocal this time of the year. Learn all about these fascinating canines and how to “talk” to them. We’ll listen to recorded calls and examine coyote signs to learn their language. Then, on an adventure into their habitat, we will howl and hope for an answer!
September 23 - Splendor in the Grass
Take a leisurely hike from a beautiful beach over a small dune. Poke around to see what lives, grows and wanders in, on, and through the area. The ranger guarantees beauty, elegance, and splendor in the grass.
September 30 - National Public Lands Day: Adopt-a-Beach
Celebrate your love for the Great Lakes by helping on a beach cleanup!
Learn more about the Adopt-a-Beach program. Then go with a ranger to one of the beaches in the National Lakeshore and help us make a difference in this treasured resource!Saturday programs will continue through the fall color season. They are free, suitable for all ages and last two hours including the introduction at the Visitor Center and the drive to the trail. No reservations are needed; participants need only purchase the park entrance pass to join in the fun ($10/vehicle valid for seven days or $20/vehicle for an entire year), except on September 30, NPLD when entrance is free! For more information about these or other ranger-led programs and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore activities, please call the Visitor Center at 231-326-5134 or go to www.nps.gov/slbe.