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Nature lovers across the state are gearing up to help restore and conserve some of the many natural wonders in New Mexico on National Public Lands Day (NLPD).
The holiday is held annually on the the fourth Saturday in September, and was first established in 1994. Since then NLPD has become the U.S.’s largest single-day volunteer effort.
“It celebrates the connection between people and green space in their community, inspires environmental stewardship, and encourages use of open space 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 U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
NPLD is a “fee-free day,” meaning there are no entrance fees at national parks and other public lands.
Here are some ways you can volunteer on NLPD:
- Clean the Pecos River
- Meet at the Riverwalk Recreation Center 400 Riverwalk Dr, Carlsbad
- On Saturday Sept. 25 from 7 a.m. to 11a.m.
- Contact Mary Garwood for more information at 575-302-7665 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Volunteers will be provided with masks, hand sanitizer, t-shirts, bags, gloves, snacks and water.
Lincoln National Forest, Smokey Bear Ranger District
- Volunteers will restore streams in the forest by building one-rock dams and beaver analog dams in Big Bonito Creek for two days.
- Friday Sept. 24 at 1p.m. and Saturday Sept. 25 at 8 a.m.
- Contact Larry Cordova to volunteer at email@example.com or 575-937-5151
- Volunteers are asked to bring their own gloves and lunch. Water will be provided. It is recommended to bring waders and rubber boots if possible and prepared for changing weather as the monsoons have been very active this year.
BLM Roswell Field Office
Volunteers will stain the new group shelter along with a split rail fence then brush out trails and collect trash if time allows.
Meet at the Rob Jaggers Campground
Directions: From the intersection of NM 426 and US 380 in Capitan NM drive east on US 380, for 4.3 miles to NM220, which will be on the right. From the west end of Lincoln NM, drive west 7.75 miles to NM 220, which will be on the left. Drive south 0.9 for miles to the Rob Jaggers Campground.
On Saturday Sept. 25, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Previous volunteer efforts
The BLM Carlsbad Field Office already hosted three events for NPLD.
On Sept. 9 and 10 volunteers helped with erosion mitigation efforts along the Black River. Volunteers also planted previously harvested willow tree poles at the Six Mile Dam on Sept. 10.
On Sept. 11 volunteers helped clean up trash and maintain the La Cueva Non-Motorized Trail System.
Eamon Brennan from the BLM Carlsbad Field Office said it will not be hosting another event on Sept. 25 but will help with the Riverblitz, hosted by the city of Carlsbad and the Keep Carlsbad Beautiful.
Claudia Silva is a reporter from the UNM Local Reporting Fellowship. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at 575-628-5506 or on Twitter @thewatchpup.