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Sept. 28 is National Public Lands Day

photo by Alicia Dziak

photo by Alicia Dziak

Donate Your Time at ASP

By Alicia Dziak

Do you love Allegany State Park? Do you have a few hours to spare on Sept. 28? Then consider volunteering at this fabulous state park on National Public Lands Day!

Volunteering is a great way to give back to your favorite park. National Public Lands Day (NPLD) is an organized volunteer day designed to bring people together to achieve the common goal of improving the lands that so many people enjoy.

NPLD began in 1994 with three sites and 700 volunteers and by last year had grown to 2,206 sites and 175,000 volunteers. This will be its ninth year at ASP.

Some of the highlights from the nationwide 2012 event included volunteers collecting an estimated 23,000 pounds of invasive plants, building and maintaining an estimated 1,500 miles of trails, removing an estimated 500 tons of trash from trails and other places, and planting an estimated 100,000 trees, shrubs and other native plants.

“NPLD is our nation’s single day, all-volunteer event designed to give the public a chance to care for our public lands,” said Heidi Tschopp, park naturalist and ASP’s NPLD coordinator. “For those who love Allegany State Park, this is a great way to spend a few hours giving back. The projects we work on really help to enhance our park and make it an even better experience for all who visit.”

At ASP, the focus this year will be the Quaker side of the park, and volunteers will work on various projects.

“There will be trail work, landscaping, gardening, litter pickup and more,” said Tschopp. “We are in the process of locking down our projects list.”

Last year, about 100 volunteers participated in this event at ASP. Spread the word, organize a group of friends, and help make this year’s total even bigger!

Volunteers should enter the park at Quaker, and assignments will be given at the Quaker toll booth between 9–10 am.

“We do work rain or shine and volunteers should come dressed to get dirty!” added Tschopp.

The first step in making a difference is as easy as making a phone call. To register, call the park at (716) 354-9101, ext. 236.

For more information, visit www.publiclandsday.org.

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