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Monday, September 28, 2015

National Public Lands Day

Every year, all around the country, parks see hundreds of volunteers turn out to do all kinds of projects to help maintain these beautiful parts of the nation for everyone to enjoy.  Here at the J. Strom Thurmond Corps Of Engineers Project, we had a great turnout of local volunteers to tackle various jobs that require lots of man (and women, boys and girls) power to complete.

Planning for this one day and getting all the necessary supplies together was a task that the COE rangers and fulltime volunteers worked on for several months.  Local businesses kicked in donations, from food items to coupons and items to be given out or raffled off.  Cabela's was especially generous, pitching in over a thousand dollars of merchandise and stacks of coupons to be distributed.

Marti and I originally were going to take a bunch of kids to stain picnic tables.  There are hundreds of them around the parks and time and weather takes a toll on them.  Staining them with a preservative stain prolongs their useful life.

Unfortunately for us, there were several days of heavy rain preceding the event, so the tables couldn't be stained.  Guess what Marti and I will be doing a lot of this winter (hopefully with the help of some other fulltime volunteers)?

That didn't keep us from being busy.  We became "Gofers" and took care of all kinds of little tasks to keep things moving along.

One major project was the assembling of bluebird and duck houses.

Guided by a few fulltime volunteers, adults and kids pitched in to screw the houses together.

Of course, right in the middle of the birdhouse project, the screws ran out!  Mighty Gofers to the rescue, we drove to a hardware store, purchased a hundred more screws and got the project moving on.  The results were fantastic, the birdhouses will be hung up over the winter awaiting their new tenants in the spring.

During the day, trails were cleaned up and marked, beaches had trash removed, new life jacket loaner stations were constructed.  Trees and brush were pruned and cut back as well as barbeque grills sanded and repainted.  The amount of work put in by the local volunteers was amazing!

Of course, what would all the work be without a good lunch?   Marti and I did our Gofer job and cooked up several pans of baked beans and chili.

While we were cooking the beans, other fulltime volunteers were cooking up bunches of hotdogs for the hungry workers.

After lunch and before all the local volunteers departed, a raffle was held.  There were all kinds of prizes awarded, from small Tervis drinking cups, to camp chairs to even a camping tent donated by Cabela's. 

Everyone went away a winner.  They were given a T-shirt, a coupon for a free day at any federal park, a bag of water safety goodies and the knowledge that they helped make the parks a little bit better for every one to enjoy.  The rangers and the fulltime volunteers guided the day to a successful conclusion and we're already talking about what we can do next year to make National Public Lands Day even better.   :c)

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.


  1. Nice to hear that you had so many helpers on Saturday!

  2. Three Cheers for all you Volunteers and the local helpers!!! You just contribute so much to our parks and make them our favorite places to visit:o)) THANK YOU ALL!!!

  3. So nice to have the volunteers and that they were shown appreciation for their labor.

  4. Wow this is great Paul! What an amazing amount of organization it takes to make good use of a large group of volunteers. Sorry you'll get stuck with the staining.

  5. Egads! Looks like you're back to work and have lots of helpers. I'm sure you can certainly use them!

  6. Sorry we missed it this year. Looks like another successful day!

    Good thing you were able to get more screws... or that project would have been all "screwed" up! :)

  7. I've heard so many nice things about Public Lands Day. One day maybe we'll be there helping out :)

  8. That looks like fun! We sort of had something similar? Gal from New York inquired if we were going to replant the sagebrush and offered to help out. (Trust me, I'm too dumb to make this up.)

  9. Paul, are you and Marti okay? I know there's not much we can do from out here but offer up hopes for your continued safety.

  10. Wow, I know it's for a good cause, but that looks too much like work!