State Park Events for National Public Lands Day

SANTA FE, N.M. – New Mexico State Parks invites the public to participate in State Park outdoor recreation events and volunteer projects to celebrate National Public Lands Day. Programs are occurring statewide on September 24, 2011.

“National Public Lands Day provides state parks with an opportunity to showcase our parks and highlight some of our best educational and recreational programming,” said State Parks Director Tommy Mutz. “I invite the public to participate in our hands-on, volunteer events or to come and recreate at one of our many great parks.”

National Public Lands Day celebrates conservation of public outdoor resources and highlights volunteer opportunities. New Mexico is also part of the Western Governors’ Association’s Get Out West initiative that promotes outdoor recreation, conservation, tourism and volunteering.

The State Park National Public Lands Day events include a volunteer event at Sugarite Canyon State Park which was impacted by the devastating Track Fire this summer.

“We’re looking for volunteers to plant trees and help us begin the restoration efforts in Sugarite Canyon,” said Bob Dye, Superintendent at Sugarite Canyon State Park. “Volunteers can begin to put us on the road to recovery after the fire.”

A volunteer event at Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park will also be conducted, including the re-establishment of trails within the park. Volunteers will help with re-defining and creating new trails.

Night sky events focusing on the beautiful, and endangered, New Mexico night sky are also part of the State Park offerings. Visitors can learn about the importance of our dark night skies and how to protect them.

Outdoor learning and recreation events will also include a hunting and fishing day with many hands-on programs at Fenton Lake State Park. Bird walks, plant inventories, and some fun heritage events will also be held including an adobe making workshop and a vintage car show, providing educational programs about historic cars and their impact on the west. Specific events include:

• Volunteer Tree Planting, Sugarite Canyon State Park
• Volunteer Trail Project, Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park (RSVP required)
• Night Sky Stars in Parks program, City of Rocks State Park
• Night Sky Star Party, Hyde Memorial State Park
• Night Sky Celestial Cycles program, Oliver Lee Memorial State Park
• Annual Hunting and Fishing Day, Fenton Lake State Park
• Adobe Workshop, Percha Dam State Park
• Vintage Car Show, Pancho Villa State Park
• Bird Walk, Rio Grande Nature Center State Park
• Bird Walk, Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park
• Native Plant Walk, Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park

For specific details on event times and locations, please visit the State Park website at www.nmparks.com. Information about National Public Lands Day can be found at www.publiclandsday.org and the Western Governors’ Association at www.westgov.org.