Time to Give Back to the Land

By Kimberly Mason / For The Chronicle
On National Public Lands Day Saturday, volunteers will be gathering at parks, trails, gardens, historic sites and other public lands for a day of service. National Public Lands Day is the country’s largest single-day effort to spruce up parks and other open spaces.
National Public Lands Day is also a free-fee day at national parks. In addition to free admission on Saturday, participating volunteers at National Park Service sites will receive a coupon for a fee-free return visit.
If your family participates, you might pick up trash, clear invasive plants, plant trees, or even build a bridge. In 2010, more than 170,000 volunteers pitched in at 2,000 sites in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The Washington Trails Association is fielding a dozen trail work opportunities for hikers on National Public Lands Day. There is something for everyone on the schedule — a Volunteer Vacation, two Backcountry Response Teams, a weekend work party, a family work party, a celebration, and a half-dozen other one-day work parties spread across the state.
“One of the prime components of National Public Lands Day is stewardship. This year we hope to get more than 100 volunteers out on the trail, providing much-needed maintenance for this important public resource,” said Alyssa Kreider, WTA volunteer coordinator.
Kimberly Mason is a freelance writer based in Cinebar. She can be contacted at kz@tds.net.
Find Your Work Party
Washington Trails Association

Mount St. Helens Institute
Email: volunteer@mshinstitute.org
Phone: (360) 449-7883

General facility and trails maintenance, invasive removal and more are planned for Saturday.

Mount St. Helens, Toutle River Valley
Email: mjdowell@fs.fed.us
Phone: (360) 449-7815

Pull Scotch broom and other Invasive species. Collect litter and garbage along the highway, from Coldwater Ridge Visitor Center to Johnston Ridge Observatory. Maintain and cut brush along both the Hummocks Trail and Coldwater Lake Trail.

Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Lake Christine
Email: trail_teams@wta.org
Phone: (206) 625-1367

Lake Christine (No. 249) offers a delightful alpine lake setting with camp spots just one mile from the trailhead. Great views of Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens, and Mount Adams await another half mile further making a great day trip. Brush removal and tread maintenance.

Mount Rainier National Park
Email: mlemagne@npca.org
Phone: (360) 569-6567

Volunteers can choose from several projects. The National Park Service and Washington Trails Association will both be leading trail maintenance projects on sections of the Wonderland Trail departing from White River Campground. Meanwhile, at Sunrise, Mount Rainier’s restoration team will lead volunteers in replanting the old Sunrise Campground with native plants.