2015-09-24 / Front Page

Public Lands Day to be observed at Elijah Clark State Park

Lincoln County residents are encouraged to observe Saturday, September 26, as “National Public Lands Day (NPLD)” by participat­ing in efforts to clean up local, state, and federal lands.

One third of America’s land is in public hands.

Volunteer projects include shore­line cleanup, tree trimming, park and trail maintenance, picking up debris in recreation areas, etc.

Scouting groups, civic organiza­tions, sports clubs, churches, busi­nesses, families, and individuals are encouraged to take part in NPLD, which is sponsored by the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

Elijah Clark State Park’s cleanup initiative is set to begin at 8:30 a.m. and will consist of picking up trash along the shoreline.

In her comments, Mia Anderson, a member of the park staff, said, “Elijah Clark State Park is look­ing forward to a large community turnout this year to help preserve Lincoln County’s precious natural resources.

“We encourage families to come out to Elijah Clark and work shoul­der to shoulder with park staff and hosts to beautify the shores of the park.”

She added that workers need to bring trash bags, waterproof boots, and a smile.

Those wishing to volunteer at another recreation facility should contact Ranger Ron Woodall at 1-864-333-1131 to choose the area where they want to work or have a site assigned to them.

Bags of garbage may be dropped off at trash receptacles near corps- operated boat ramps.

After the work is done, the corps will provide a picnic lunch, door prizes, and free T-shirts at the Mal­National lard Point group shelter in the Lake Springs Recreation Area in Appling. The fun begins at noon.

National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest one-day volunteer effort geared toward improving public lands.

The initiative began in 1994 with the idea that the millions of Ameri­cans who use federal, state, and local public lands each year could spend a day volunteering their time to the land and their country.

The first NPLD involved ap­proximately 700 volunteers work­ing at three sites. It proved to be a huge success and became a yearly tradition, typically held on the last Saturday in September.

In 2014, approximately 175,000 volunteers worked at 2,132 sites in every state, the District of Co­lumbia, and in many United States territories.

During the day, volunteers: l Collected an estimated 23,000 pounds of invasive plants. l Built or maintained close to 1,500 miles of trails. l Removed nearly 500 tons of trash from trails and other places. l Saved taxpayers approximately $18 million.

Moreover, National Public Lands Day is important because it: l Educates Americans about their environment and natural resources, along with the need for shared stew­ardship of these valued, irreplace­able lands. l Improves public lands for out­door recreation. l Gets children outside and helps erase the “nature deficit” among the next generation.

Participants are reminded that in the event of severe weather, NPLD activities will be cancelled. No rain date is scheduled.

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