May 1, 2014

Editorial: Invest yourself in state parks

Grab your garden gloves and get ready to give back.

Saturday, May 3, is I Love My Park Day in New York state, and people who enjoy camping, hiking, swimming and other activities at parks have a chance to show their appreciation with a little manual labor.

You don’t have to spend your whole day working, just a couple of hours would be a worthwhile contribution.

Every year during I Love My Park Day, thousands of volunteers take part in cleanup, improvement and beautification events at New York parks and historic sites.

Parks and Trails New York partners with the New York Office of Parks, Recreation and Historical Preservation and local friends groups on this project.

“This is the third year volunteers will partake in this celebration of New York’s state park system by cleaning up park lands and beaches, planting trees and gardens, restoring trails and wildlife habitat, removing invasive species and working on various site improvement projects,” the Office of Parks and Recreation says on its website.

The groups that are involved provide outreach, promotion, technical assistance and how-to organizer kits for friends groups to use for their individual events.

Among the local sites that are participating this year are Point au Roche State Park, Crown Point State Historic Site and John Brown Farm in Lake Placid.

Volunteers are asked to bring gloves, insect repellent and a snack. They are encouraged to wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts.

Tools are usually provided, but you can find out more online at, including times, directions and details for the local efforts.

The weather doesn’t look ideal for this weekend, but it’s not bad enough to discourage volunteers. Temperatures are expected to be in the upper 50s, with just a 30 percent chance of showers.

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