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Posted 9/29/2016

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By Elizabeth Lockyear
public affairs

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – More than 125 volunteers participated in events at five District project sites in observance of National Public Lands Day (NPLD), Sept. 24, 2016. 

NPLD is the nation's largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands. It began in 1994 with three sites and 700 volunteers and became a yearly tradition. Last year, more than 11,000 volunteers participated in National Public Lands Day activities at 114 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ 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 had a successful NPLD event at Abiquiu this weekend with 65 volunteers in attendance,” said Abiquiu park manager John Mueller. On Friday, Sept. 23, “a group of 20 from Cottonwood Gulch Expeditions that could not make the event on Saturday” came and performed landscaping work. 

On Saturday, Sept. 24, 45 volunteers showed up to work on four projects including landscaping and planting the project office front bed; trail maintenance; land-based shoreline cleanup; and water-based shoreline cleanup. Approximately 25 bags of trash were collected.

“Our partners included a live broadcast the day of the event from KDCE radio station, an interpretive red tailed hawk and bull snake from the Wildlife Center, and the Rio Arriba Mobile Command Center,” Mueller said.
Approximately 65 people came out to the lake to volunteer. They spent about two hours working on trail maintenance and building natural water bars that will help prevent erosion.

District staff, including District Commander Lt. Col. James Booth, joined volunteers from the public for National Public Lands Day. Altogether they put in approximately 100 volunteer hours and picked up 1,000 pounds of trash around the project and lake shoreline. “After the cleanup, a BBQ lunch was served,” said Steve Peterson, Conchas Lake project manager.

Saturday evening, three project employees participated in a special event in Tucumcari, N.M., to promote water safety.  Park rangers Nadine Carter and Taylor Atwood and maintenance worker Joseph Schallert attended the Fired Up event where they made 352 water safety contacts. Overall approximately 3,500 people attended the Fired Up event.  Bobber the Water Safety Dog also made a special appearance.

Carter, Atwood, and Schallert “worked long hours for both events and did a great job!” Peterson said.

“We had an excellent turn out for the weekend event,” said Gary Cordova, Santa Rosa Lake project manager. 

The Santa Rosa Middle School was well represented with students from the student council, MESA club, and football team, the Fighting Cubs. Altogether, 34 students participated along with 16 adult volunteers.  The volunteers did a shoreline cleanup and some trail building at the Juniper Park Campground.

Click here to read the article on the National Public Lands Day event at John Martin Reservoir.

Abiquiu Lake cochiti lake Conchas Lake John Martin Reservoir National Public Lands Day NPLD Santa Rosa Lake volunteer event