Make them sparkle

Volunteers shovel trash and dead leaves into a tractor bucket during the state’s I Love My Park Day in 2016 at Cedar Point State Park. Watertown Daily Times

Everything needs some tidying up now and then.

This holds true for state parks and historic sites. On the first Saturday of each year, volunteers give their time to clean up these popular destinations so that others can enjoy them.

I Love My Park Day is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Projects will be held both Saturday and Sunday at sites across the state, including in Northern New York.

“In St. Lawrence County, volunteers ages 18 and older are needed at Upper and Lower Lakes Wildlife Management Area to install an electric fence to prevent raccoons and skunks from infiltrating a turtle nesting area. Participants are asked to meet at noon Saturday at the Upper and Lower Lakes shop on Route 68 in Canton and bring their own sledge hammers, work gloves, rakes and wire cutters,” according to a news item published Tuesday by the Watertown Daily Times. “Higley Flow State Park is in need of volunteers of all ages for trail work from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Participants should meet at the Nature Center for assignments.

“In Jefferson County, several projects are slated across the two days at Wellesley Island State Park. Volunteers of all ages are asked to meet at the Minna Anthony Common Nature Center for each project,” the article reported. “Saturday’s focus is gardening, weeding, mulching, bird feeder cleaning, chair cleaning and leaf raking. Sunday’s projects include recording trail conditions, shoreline cleanup, window washing and paved trail sweeping.”

The annual event is organized by Parks and Trails New York, the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the state Department of Environmental Conservation. It’s the largest single-volunteer event in the state, according to the DEC. This year’s events will be modified for safe, in-person opportunities with mandated social distancing and masks.

This is a chance for people to contribute to their communities and clean these wonderful attractions. Visit http://wdt.me/Rsat4t and http://wdt.me/THuzHp for more information about the events and to register for a particular project.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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