Pa.

News for Immediate Release

September 22, 2011

DCNR Secretary Invites National Public Lands Day Participation

Harrisburg – Volunteers will have the opportunity to improve state parks by taking part in National Public Lands Day events across Pennsylvania on Saturday, Sept. 24, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Richard Allan said today.

“Each year National Public Lands Day brings together more than 150,000 volunteers across the nation to refurbish and restore public places,” Allan said. “The number of our state parks participating has grown steadily as more volunteers -- a vital cornerstone in our park system -- don work gloves and boots and tackle an array of important projects.”

Marking its 17th year and billed as the nation’s largest hands-on volunteer effort to improve and enhance public lands Americans enjoy, National Public Lands Day is offered by the National Environmental Education Foundation to encourage and salute public contributions in parks, forests and open lands across the nation.

“Whether it’s a planned trail and stream-bank restoration effort at Perry County’s Little Buffalo State Park, or rain garden plantings at Sinnemahoning State Park in Cameron County, National Public Lands Day gives each of us a chance to contribute to the betterment of our public lands for this and future generations of Americans,” said Allan.

“This Saturday, local volunteers will have a unique chance to give something back to their country, their community, and the state parks that serve them,” Allan said. “I encourage everyone to consider lending a helping hand.”

This year, 23 state parks and three environmental education centers will host volunteer groups in the national effort to improve and preserve habitat on public lands. Project details, registration and other information can be found on-line at http://www.publiclandsday.org.

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will oversee National Public Lands Day volunteer workdays at the following sites:

Bald Eagle State Park, Centre County; Black Moshannon State Park, Centre County; Canoe Creek State Park, Blair County; Colonel Denning State Park, Cumberland County; Cook Forest State Park, Clarion County; Frances Slocum State Park, Luzerne County; Jennings Environmental Education Center, Butler County; Kings Gap Environmental Education and Training Center, Cumberland County; Laurel Hill State Park, Somerset County; Little Buffalo State Park, Perry County; Lyman Run, Potter County; Maurice K. Goddard, Mercer County; Nescopeck State Park, Luzerne County; Oil Creek, Venango County; Parker Dam State Park, Clearfield County; Pine Grove Furnace State Park, Cumberland County; Prince Gallitzin State Park, Beaver County; Promised Land State Park, Pike County; Raccoon Creek State Park, Beaver County; Ryerson Station, Greene County; Sinnemahoning and Sizerville, Cameron County; and Yellow Creek, Indiana County.

To participate at one of the other opportunities in a state park, contact that park’s offices before Saturday, Sept. 24, to pre-register and inquire about possible inclement weather, starting times, meetings places and other details.

Pennsylvania volunteers will join a workforce across the country that is committed to carrying on the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps, the “tree army” that exemplified land stewardship from 1933-1942 by preserving and protecting America's natural heritage.

The National Environmental Education Foundation, which has managed and coordinated the annual all-day effort from its start in 1994, estimates that the volunteers’ work, along with community contributions of food, tools and equipment, will result in improvements valued at more than $8 million.

National Public Lands Day is a public-private partnership involving DCNR and many other state, federal, and local land and conservation agencies. The National Environmental Education Foundation manages, coordinates and generates financial support for the program.

For information about volunteering in Pennsylvania’s state parks and forestlands throughout the year, visit www.dcnr.state.pa.us/cons/.

Media contact: Terry Brady, 717-772-9101

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