Army Corps of Engineers waives fees, holds events in observance of National Public Lands Day, Sept. 24

Published Sept. 21, 2016
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) announced today that it will waive day use fees normally charged at boat launch ramps and swimming beaches at its recreation areas nationwide in recognition of National Public Lands Day on Saturday, Sept. 24. 

The waiver does not apply to camping and camping-related services, or fees for specialized facilities such as group picnic shelters. Other agencies and partners that manage recreation areas located on USACE lands are encouraged, but not required, to comply with this waiver of day use fees in the areas they manage. 

In addition, volunteers who participate in one of USACE’s National Public Lands Day activities will be issued a fee-free coupon if the volunteer site is participating in the coupon program. Volunteers should check with their local USACE project for more information. The fee-free coupon is valid for one year from date of issue and may be used for one day of entrance or day use fees at any participating federal agency’s park, forest or recreation area that charges either of these types of fees. 

Thousands of volunteers are expected to support the more than 80 USACE projects participating in this year’s National Public Lands Day, the largest annual volunteer hands-on restoration activity of its kind. Volunteers at USACE sites will take part in tree planting, erosion control, bank stabilization, building trails, restoring recreation areas, trash pickup, removing invasive species and non-native plants, improving wildlife habitats, harvesting prairie plant seeds and rehabilitating playgrounds. 

Last year, more than 11,000 volunteers participated in National Public Lands Day activities at 114 USACE lakes. The volunteers cleaned 1,001 miles of shoreline, maintained 288 miles of trails, removed 128,000 pounds of trash, and planted approximately 1,300 trees and shrubs on USACE-managed lands. 

“We’re proud to be stewards of American public lands,” said Albuquerque District Commander Lt. Col.
James Booth. “We’re looking forward to working with our great volunteers this year to improve our conservation efforts and enhance the recreational resources for everyone at our parks. Come join us at one of our five lakes hosting an event this Saturday, Sept. 24!”

National Public Lands Day events in the Albuquerque District:

Abiquiu Lake, New Mexico:
Volunteers will pick up trash, paint over graffiti, perform trail maintenance, pull weeds, and other tasks to improve the park. Volunteers will be treated to a free lunch provided by Abiquiu Lake staff, free camping the night before or after the event, live animals from the New Mexico Wildlife Center, and a live broadcast by KDCE radio. As part of the celebration, the Corps of Engineers will be offering free boat launches on the day of the event.
When: Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016 
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. 
Point of Contact: Contact the project office at 505-685-4371
Additional Information: Meet at the Abiquiu Lake main boat ramp parking lot, located at the east side of the dam 2 miles west of the Hwy 84 and Hwy 96 junction.
Abiquiu Lake website:

Cochiti Lake, New Mexico:
One group of volunteers will remove old wooden water bars and replace them with natural rock water bars and repair any erosion on the nature trail. A second group of volunteers will be on the Tetilla side of the lake and conduct shoreline trash removal from the Tetilla Boat Ramp south along the Santa Cruz Day Use Area Shoreline.
When: Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016
Time: 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 
Point of Contact: Nicholas Parks or Trevor Wallin at 505-465-0307
Additional Information: All volunteers are asked to meet at the Cochiti Lake Visitors Center.
Cochiti Lake website:

Conchas Lake, New Mexico:
Shoreline, campground, and roadside trash cleanup
When: Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016
Time: 8:00 a.m. to noon
Point of Contact: Nadine Carter or Taylor Atwood at 575-868-2221
Additional Information: Meet at the South Recreation boat ramp parking lot.
Conchas Lake website:

Santa Rosa Lake, New Mexico:
Shoreline clean up and trail building. The trail head for the new bike trail will start on the lower loop of Juniper Park which will extend in a northeast direction for 0.65 miles and will consist of low impact construction using basic hand tools. Shoreline cleanup will also be in the Juniper Park area and will consist of walking along the shoreline gathering trash and disposing of it properly. Certificates of participation and appreciation and refreshments will follow the event.
When: Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016
Time: 8:00 a.m. to noon
Point of Contact: Gary Cordova or Paul Sanchez at 575-472-3115
Santa Rosa Lake website:

John Martin Reservoir, Colorado:
Project No.1
Endangered/threatened bird species nest on the shoreline of John Martin Reservoir. The best time to do habitat work is when these birds have left for the season, preferably in the fall. Coinciding with National Public Lands Day, Duane Nelson will be leading a volunteer group that will work on habitat improvements along the north and south shorelines of John Martin Reservoir. This work will improve the nesting success of future threatened and endangered species here.
Project No. 2
Rick Gardner, district wildlife manager with Colorado Parks Wildlife, will be leading a group of volunteers to remove old fences along the north side of John Martin Reservoir Wildlife Area. This will improve the aesthetics of the property and further protect wildlife from possible injury.
When: Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016
Time: 8:00 a.m. 
Point of Contact: Karen Downey or Chris Langstaff at 719-336-3476
Additional Information: Volunteers are asked to come to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' picnic shelter in the administrative area at 8:00 a.m. on the 24th for sign-up.  Please bring: gloves, hats, sunglasses, sunblock, etc. and any snacks you would like to have with you. Volunteers are also welcome to bring their own tools. The Corps will lend what rakes, shovels, etc. we have but depending on the number of volunteers there may not be enough to go around.
John Martin Reservoir website:

Elizabeth Lockyear

Release no. 16-004