Volunteers cleaned and performed maintenance on public lands at Mendenhall Glacier, with U.S. Forest Service Juneau Ranger District, and at Campbell Creek Science Center in Anchorage, with the Bureau of Land Management, as part of National Public Lands Day on Sept. 27.
Local volunteers joined thousands of others at sites nationwide in one of the largest historical cleanups of the public lands since the Civilian Conservation Corps efforts in the 1930s.
The national event was launched by the National Environmental Education Foundation, along with nine federal agencies and hundreds of other groups, and sponsored by Toyota Motor Sales.
This year, NPLD commemorated the 75th anniversary of the Civilian Conservation Corps, by planting more than 1.5 million trees. By educating volunteers at sites across the country, NPLD maintained the legacy of an army of the Civilian Conservation Corps, which countered the devastation of the Dust Bowl by planting three billion trees, building 800 state parks, and fighting forest fires.
"Volunteers at Mendenhall made an invaluable improvement to our nation's lands by donating their time," said Diane W. Wood, president of the National Environmental Education Foundation, which coordinates NPLD.
Other event partners were some 125 state, county and city partners, the Boy Scouts of America, the Girl Scouts of USA, Student Conservation Assocation, the Corps Network and scores of other nonprofit organizations.
"Volunteer participation at Mendenhall was outstanding," said Joe Parrish, executive director at SAGA. "We are grateful to all those who pitched in and look forward to even more local residents lending a hand next year."
"It's a great time for locals to get involved," added AnnMarie Ellison, community volunteer coordinator for SAGA. "Being at the tail end of cruise season, it almost becomes a reclaiming of the land. It really helps the locals feel like they have a personal claim to the land."
NPLD is recognized every year on the last Saturday of September.
Juneau Empire ©2013. All Rights Reserved.