Maryland State Parks Celebrate National Public Lands Day

Join volunteers from across the nation to help improve trails, plant trees, remove trash and invasive plants, and clean up waterways and help maintain public lands as part of the National Public Lands Day celebration on Saturday, September 28th. This year honors the 20th anniversary of this national effort to improve and protect the nationís natural resources.

Volunteers improving trails at Patapsco Valley State Park

Maryland State Parks will host activities and opportunities at 14 locations on September 28th and September 29th for volunteers to donate one day to preserving the stateís public lands. Volunteers are encouraged to contact the state parks in advance, as most sites require volunteers to bring their own food, beverages and gloves, and wear clothing appropriate for outdoor work.

Fort Frederick State Park/Western Maryland Rail Trail
Sunday 9/29/13, 9 a.m.
Contact: Andy Vecchio, 301-842-2155
Join a Ranger for a leisurely walk and litter and debris clean up. Dress for a short hike and bring a pair of work gloves or garden gloves. Meet at the Big Poole parking lot of the Western Maryland Rail Trail (I-70 west of Clear Spring to exit 12 Big Poole). To reach the eastern terminus of the Western Maryland Rail Trail, take exit 12, MD 56, from I-70. Go approximately ľ mile east towards Fort Frederick State Park and the terminus is located on the right. The trail parking lot is across the street from the Post Office.

Herrington Manor/Swallow Falls State Parks
Sunday 9/29/13, 8 a.m.
Contact: Donnie Oates, 301-334-9180
222 Herrington Lane, Oakland MD 21550
Meet at the park maintenance complex. Blighted Spruce trees are being removed along the park entrance road now so that 40 replacement trees can be planted. Volunteers will plant new trees. Volunteers should wear heavy boots and bring gloves.

Rocky Gap State Park
Sunday 9/29/13, 9 a.m.
Contact: Amy Lutsko, 301-722-1480
12900 Lakeshore Drive, Flintstone MD 21530
Work alongside Rocky Gap State Park Rangers to celebrate National Public Lands Day. Volunteers are needed to assist with basic trail maintenance along our popular Lakeside Loop Trail. Projects will include pruning vegetation, repainting trail blazes, and correcting drainage issues. Volunteers should bring work gloves and meet at the Touch of Nature Trail parking lot at 9 a.m.

Cunningham Falls State Park
Sunday 9/29/13, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Contact: Alicia Norris, 301-271-3676
Meet at the Manor Area Visitor Center of Cunningham Falls State Park (Rt. 15 just South of Thurmont, Maryland across the road from Catoctin Mountain Zoo). Join a Ranger in hands on work in a Native Plant Garden and along the Furnace Trail. Please bring a water bottle, sturdy shoes and work gloves.

Washington Monument State Park
Saturday 9/28/13, 8 a.m.
Contact: Chris Gleaston-Smuck, 301-791-4656
6620 Zittlestown Road, Middletown MD 21769
Volunteers will meet at Washington Monument State Park at 8 AM and work until 12 PM. There is no age limit for participants but youth are asked to be supervised by a parent or guardian. Volunteers are asked to wear clothes appropriate for trail work, gloves, and sturdy boots. Binoculars would be helpful to watch for migrating hawks but not necessary. Volunteers should also bring water, trail snacks, insect repellant, and enthusiasm to make a difference in their State Parks.

Youghiogheny River
Sunday 9/29/2013, 1:30 p.m.
Contact: Caroline Blizzard, 301-387-7067
The Maryland Park Service invites local residents to participate in a trail clean-up of Kendall Trail in the Youghiogheny River Corridor. Activities will include picking up trash, removing fallen debris and removing invasive species that have grown along the trail. Participants should wear appropriate clothing and bring gloves and water to drink. Meet at the Kendall Trailhead at 1:30 pm in Friendsville, MD. Parking is available in front of the Town Hall/library building located at 315 Chestnut Street in Friendsville, MD.

Danís Mountain State Park
Saturday 9/28/13, 9:30 a.m.
Contact: Carrie Osborn, 301-895-5453
1740 Recreational Area Road SW, Lonaconing, MD 21539
Meet at the Hill Run Pavilion, near the entrance of Danís Mountain State Park. Join Ranger Osborn to learn about the history of the area and then help make improvements to the Dye School Trail. Work will range from pruning back branches and removing debris to more intensive trail building and rock moving. A limited supply of work gloves and tools will be provided, but participants are encouraged to bring their own. The work day will conclude with a free pizza lunch at 1 p.m. provided by the Danís Mountain Park Association.

Susquehanna State Park
Sunday 9/29/2013, noon
Contact: Chris Grieco, 410-734-9035
4122 Wilkinson Road, Havre de Grace, MD 21078
Ever wonder what it would be like to work at one of Marylandís State Parks? Join staff members and seasoned volunteers at Susquehanna State Parkís Deer Creek Picnic Area to celebrate National Public Lands Day. There will be a variety of volunteer opportunities available from trail maintenance, to stream side litter pick-up, to invasive species removal. We will be meeting at noon and working until 3 p.m. Volunteers should wear sturdy shoes, and bring work gloves, and plenty of water.

Elk Neck State Park
Saturday 9/28/2013, 8 a.m. Ė 12 p.m.
Contact: Jeanette Thayer, 410-287-5333
4395 Turkey Point Road, North East MD 21901
Come out and celebrate the 20th anniversary of Public Lands Day at Elk Neck State Park! You will be among thousands of people nation-wide who volunteer their time to benefit America's public lands. Work side-by-side with park staff and afterwards enjoy a live animal program featuring some of Marylandís most common reptiles. Meet in the North East Beach Area. Volunteers should wear sturdy shoes and bring work gloves.

Gunpowder Falls State Park
Saturday 9/28/2013, 10 a.m.
Contact: Jen Cashell, 410-592-2897
17672 Bunker Hill Road, Parkton MD 21220
Gunpowder is planning a trail maintenance workday in the Hereford area led by Ranger Cashell. Volunteers will repair eroded sections of trail, re-direct run-off from trail surfaces and prune overgrowth. Volunteers should bring work gloves and wear sturdy shoes. Hereford Area - From I-83 N, take exit 27 and turn right on Mt. Carmel Road. At traffic light, turn left onto York Road, pass Hereford High School and turn left onto Bunker Hill Road. Continue on Bunker Hill Road to parking lot, located above the river.

Patapsco Valley State Park
Saturday 9/28/2013, 9 a.m.
Contact: Park staff, 410-461-5005
8020 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City MD 21043
Come out enjoy and give back to Marylandís oldest park. Work side by side with our experienced trail crew on some of our most unique trails. Also enjoy a short interpretive hike on the Union Dam Trail and find out what it may have been like working in one of the many mills along the Patapsco River. Volunteers should wear sturdy shoes and bring work gloves and water. A maximum of 50 volunteers can be accommodated, so please contact the park in advance.

Assateague State Park
Saturday 9/28/2013
Contact: Assateague Coastal Trust, 443-614-0261
7307 Stephen Decatur Highway, Berlin, MD 21811
Assateague State Park: Coastal Clean up is a partnership with the National Park Service, Assateague State Park and ACT/ Assateague Coastal Trust. Volunteers will assist in cleaning the back bays and ocean front areas of the National and State Parks.

Assateague State Park
Saturday 9/28/2013, 10 a.m.
Contact: Angela Baldwin, 410-641-1094
7307 Stephen Decatur Highway, Berlin, MD 21811
Helping Hands for Habitat will be a cooperative effort with the Friends of Assateague State Park and feature a Scales and Tales and aquatic animals display and craft projects at the Nature Nook/Outpost area.

Tuckahoe State Park
Saturday 9/28/2013, 10 a.m.
Contact: Jessica Conley, 410-820-1668
13070 Crouse Mill Road, Queen Anne MD 21657
Meet at the Lake Pavilion and help celebrate National Public Lands Day by donating a little of your time to improve the park. Volunteer should wear sturdy shoes and bring work gloves. Volunteers receive free admission to Family Fund Day on the Challenge Course noted below.

Family Fun Day at Tuckahoe State Park
1-5pm (Adults 16 & older, $15, Youth ages 7-15, $10) Kids and grown-ups alike will enjoy a day on the Tuckahoe Challenge Courseís high elements: 40ft. rock wall, tube net, zip line, 50 ft. giant swing and 25 ft. pamper pole. Pre-registration is required 410-820-1668.

Martinak State Park
Saturday 9/28/2013, 10 a.m.
Contact: Jessica Conley, 410-820-1668
137 Deep Shore Road, Denton MD 21629
Meet at the nature center for a fall cleanup and renewal of the butterfly garden at the park. The project consists of two parts -- weeding and trimming the existing garden, and planting additional shrubs and perennials. Volunteers are encouraged (but not required) to pre-register at https://ec.volunteernow.com/custom/1289/.

Smallwood State Park
Saturday 9/28/2013, 9 a.m.
Contact: Nakia Johnson, 301-743-7613
2750 Sweden Point, Marbury, MD 20658
The Southern Maryland Recreational Complex will sponsor a waterfront/beach cleanup and at the Sweden Point Marine and Discovery Center. The park will provide gloves and trash bags. Volunteers should wear sturdy shoes.