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 Sept. 26.
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. For more information on the fee-free day and coupons visit http://www.publiclandsday.org/highlights/fee-free-day-and-coupons.
Thousands of volunteers are expected to support the more than 90 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 16,000 volunteers participated in National Public Lands Day activities at 107 USACE lakes. The volunteers cleaned 1,300 miles of shoreline, maintained 143 miles of trails, removed 138,000 pounds of trash, and planted approximately 1,100 trees and shrubs on USACE-managed lands.
“We’re proud to be stewards of American public lands,” said Albuquerque District Commander Lt. Col. Patrick Dagon. “We’re looking forward to partnering with great volunteers this year on National Public Lands Day to improve our conservation efforts and enhance the recreational resources at our parks. I invite you to join us at one of our Albuquerque District events this year.”
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. Lunch will be provided. Also there will be displays of educational animals from the New Mexico Wildlife Center and possibly a live radio broadcast by KDCE radio. Volunteers are also eligible for free camping the night before or after the event. When: Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Point of Contact: Austin Kuhlman, 505-685-4371
Additional Information: Meet at the Abiquiu Lake Main Boat Ramp Parking Lot
Abiquiu Lake website: http://www.spa.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/Recreation/AbiquiuLake.aspx
Cochiti Lake, New Mexico:
Volunteers will help rehabilitate our natural area by constructing a “Boma” along the newly constructed Nature Trail. A Boma is a livestock enclosure, used in Africa, to keep predators away from the livestock. We want to use a Boma to keep people and wildlife out of the area we are seeding to help with the success of the seeds sprouting.
When: Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015.
Time: 9:00 am to 1:00 pm
Point of Contact: Nicholas Parks, 505-465-0307
Cochiti Lake website: http://www.spa.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/Recreation/CochitiLake.aspx
Santa Rosa Lake, New Mexico:
NOTE: There are two dates/times for volunteers:
Volunteers will help plant trees around the overlook facility as well as shrubs in our nature area.
When: Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015
Time: starts at 4:30 pm
When: Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015
Time: starts at 7:30 am
Point of Contact: Gary Cordova or Paul Sanchez, 575-472-3115
Santa Rosa Lake website: http://www.spa.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/Recreation/SantaRosaLake.aspx
John Martin Reservoir, Colorado:
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, volunteers are invited to come out and help clear the beaches of invasive species of vegetation where the birds nest. By removing the vegetation, the winter weather is able to scour the beaches where the birds come back to in the spring, finding the perfect habitat for breeding season.
A clean up will also be going on at the same time in the Wildlife Area of John Martin, targeting an area that the Ranger crew has been working on for several months. The rangers have removed downed trees and leveled the area to make a campsite for hunters. A picnic table is being added to improve the camping opportunity for anyone who wants to use the area.
When: Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015
Time: 8:00am - 5:00pm
Point of Contact: Karen Downey or Chris Langstaff, 719-336-3476.
Additional Information: Meet at either the North Shore of John Martin Reservoir or the Southwest Wildlife Area in Keller District. Volunteers are asked to bring hoes, rakes, and shovels if they have them and plenty of sunscreen and hats to protect them from the often hot fall days.
John Martin Reservoir website: http://www.spa.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/Recreation/JohnMartinReservoir.aspx