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Nature lovers across the state are preparing to help restore and conserve some of New Mexico’s many natural wonders on National Public Lands Day (NLPD).
The party takes place every year on the fourth Saturday in September and was first established in 1994. Since then, the NLPD has grown into the largest one-day volunteer effort in the United States.
“It celebrates the connection between people and green spaces in their community, inspires environmental stewardship and encourages the use of open spaces for education, recreation and health benefits,” according to the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF).
Public lands include national and public parks, monuments, wildlife refuges, forests, grasslands, marine sanctuaries, lakes and reservoirs, according to the US Department of the Interior’s Office of Land Management (BLM ).
The NPLD is a âfree day,â meaning there is no entry fee to national parks and other public lands.
Here are some ways to volunteer on the NLPD:
- Clean up the Pecos river
- Meet at Riverwalk Recreation Center 400 Riverwalk Dr, Carlsbad
- Saturday September 25 from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.
- Contact Mary Garwood for more information at 575-302-7665 or [email protected]
- Volunteers will receive masks, hand sanitizer, t-shirts, bags, gloves, snacks and water.
Lincoln National Forest, Smokey Bear Ranger District
- Volunteers will restore the forest’s waterways by constructing one-rock and beaver-like dams in Big Bonito Creek for two days.
- Friday September 24 at 1 p.m. and Saturday September 25 at 8 a.m.
- Contact Larry Cordova to volunteer at [email protected] or 575-937-5151
- Volunteers are requested to bring their own gloves and lunch. Water will be provided. It is recommended to bring waders and rubber boots if possible and to prepare for the weather changes as the monsoons have been very active this year.
BLM Roswell Field Office
Volunteers will stain the new group shelter and split rail fence, then brush trails and pick up litter if weather permits.
Meet at Rob Jaggers campsite
Directions: From the intersection of NM 426 and US 380 at Capitan NM, head east on US 380 4.3 miles to NM220 which will be on the right . From the west end of Lincoln NM, travel west 7.75 miles to NM 220, which will be on the left. Travel south 0.9 km to Rob Jaggers Campground.
Saturday, September 25, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Past volunteer efforts
The BLM field office in Carlsbad has already organized three events for the NPLD.
On September 9 and 10, volunteers participated in erosion mitigation efforts along the Black River. Volunteers also planted previously harvested willow poles at the Six Mile Dam on September 10.
On September 11, volunteers helped clean up trash and maintain La Cueva’s network of non-motorized trails.
Eamon Brennan of the BLM Carlsbad Field Office said he will not be hosting another event on September 25 but will help out at the Riverblitz, hosted by the City of Carlsbad and the Keep Carlsbad Beautiful.
Claudia Silva is a reporter for the UNM Local Reporting Fellowship. She can be reached at [email protected], by phone at 575-628-5506 or on Twitter @thewatchpup.