Official Press Release from Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
September 15, 2011
If you love the sun, fun, and beauty of our area beaches, it is time again to show it! Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (National Lakeshore) is celebrating National Public Lands Day (NPLD) and inviting the public to help clean up its beaches on Saturday, September 24 from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m. Admission to all national parks, including the National Lakeshore, is free that day, and volunteers will receive a voucher to use for entrance to various parks at a later date. So bring your family, your class, your troop, your group, or just yourself, and join others across the country in protecting our public lands.
NPLD 2011 celebrates service and recreation, and encourages volunteers to get outdoors to explore, enjoy, and improve America’s natural wonders. NPLD is the largest volunteer hands-on activity of its kind in the country. Held in September each year, the event brings together thousands of individual and organizational volunteers to refurbish and restore the country’s public lands. These are the places Americans use for outdoor recreation, education, and just plain enjoyment. They encompass national parks, monuments, wildlife refuges, forests, grasslands, marine sanctuaries, lakes, and reservoirs managed by government agencies, but belonging to, and enjoyed by, all of us.
The National Lakeshore beach cleanup coincides with the International Coastal Cleanup, which is sponsored by the Ocean Conservancy and takes place around the world every year. Participants not only contribute to cleaner coastlines, but collect data from the debris they pick up. That data is then compiled and analyzed by the Ocean Conservancy, and locally by the Alliance for the Great Lakes, a non-profit group concerned with the future of the Great Lakes. Volunteers will collect and tally all the trash they find along the beaches – plastic bags, balloons, cigarette butts – you name it!
Park Rangers will meet volunteers at the Visitor Center located on Highway M-72 in Empire. Volunteers should bring water to drink, wear weather-appropriate clothes (rain or shine), sunscreen or hat, and closed-toed shoes. Tools and other needed materials will be supplied. As a token of appreciation, each volunteer will also receive a free, one-day pass good for entrance to any federal recreation land (national forest, national park site, wildlife refuge) before September 29, 2012. Credit for three hours of community service will also be available, if interested.
For details, please contact Interpretive Park Ranger Ryan Locke at the National Lakeshore at 231-326-5134 or visit the park’s website at www.nps.gov/slbe. Also, check out their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/sbdnl.