Volunteers arrived at the Albuquerque District’s lake and dam locations to help with improvement projects as part of National Public Lands Day (NPLD) Sept. 29.
At the District’s John Martin Reservoir in Colorado, volunteers helped clear habitat for two endangered bird species, the federally threatened Piping Plover and the federally endangered Interior Least Tern. The birds nest on the ground, looking for areas of shoreline with little or no vegetation, so volunteers helped to prepare optimal nesting habitat for the 2013 breeding season by removing invasive weeds and restoring open beach habitat.
Volunteers at Abiquiu and Cochiti lakes planted native plants, worked on trail maintenance and conducted shoreline cleanup.
The Conchas project held their NPLD event one week prior on Sept. 22, and employees from the Santa Rosa project assisted the effort there by helping to remove trash, debris and more than 500 tires from the shoreline.
“For the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, NPLD is an opportunity to recognize the importance of the lands the Corps’ manages for public use and trust,” said District Commander Lt. Col. Antoinette Gant. “In addition to the time and energy volunteers put into making the land better, NPLD is about introducing young people and adults to the opportunities public lands offer for them to be active and to give back to their communities.”
As the nation’s largest one-day volunteer event in support of public lands, NPLD activities took place at more than 2,000 sites in all 50 states and the District of Columbia with a wide array of activities. The efforts of those who volunteered that one day equaled more than $15 million in improvements.