From Minnewaska State Park:
Minnewaska State Park Preserve to Host Annual I Love My Park Day Event
Minnewaska State Park Preserve will host volunteers on Saturday, May 3rd from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. as part of more than 80 cleanup, improvement and beautification events happening statewide. The third annual I Love My Park Day is an exciting statewide event to improve and enhance New York's state parks and historic sites and bring visibility to the entire state park system and its needs. Volunteers will clean up park lands and beaches, plant trees and gardens, restore trails and wildlife habitat, remove invasive species and work on various site improvement projects. Volunteers are more important than ever to keep parks beautiful, clean and welcoming for all to visit and enjoy. At Minnewaska last year, 42 participants volunteered 200 hours of time, stockpiling building materials to the site of the High Peter's Kill Footpath bridge restoration and removing invasive plant species around Lake Minnewaska, such as garlic mustard and Vinca minor.
This year at Minnewaska State Park Preserve, there will be two distinct volunteer work opportunities available for I Love My Park Day. For the two work projects, volunteers may choose between trail improvements and native tree and shrub planting, both of which will greatly benefit the Park Preserve.
With over 40 miles of hiking trails, Minnewaska relies on volunteers to maintain and improve the footpaths through its wild forests. Teams of volunteers will work with volunteer members of the New York/New Jersey Trail Conference and Park Preserve staff to improve trail conditions along the length of the Mossy Glen Footpath, where water sits on the trail tread or interrupts it. These teams will insert stepping stones and other sustainable trail solutions at seasonal streams and muddy areas, to prevent further widening and erosion. Teams will implement the appropriate solutions for their particular work site, which may include finding rocks in the surrounding landscape and moving them into place on the trail with hand tools. This will be moderate to strenuous work and is appropriate for enthusiastic and physically fit individuals. Spend the day outdoors accomplishing something that many hikers will benefit from and have fun while you work! This volunteer opportunity is appropriate for adults and children at least seven years old, accompanied by a parent or guardian at least 18 years old. Gloves will be provided, although volunteers may want to bring their own gloves to ensure a good fit.
Invasive species are one of the greatest challenges to the native biodiversity and habitats at Minnewaska. Come join the Invasive Species Control Team in its efforts to promote biodiversity within the 16,025 acre Invasive Species Prevention Zone. Volunteers will have the opportunity to restore an invasive species control plot to a more native state, performing a variety of tasks: digging, planting shrubs, spreading seeds, building cages to protect the plantings and invasive species removal. Participants may hand-pull and use hand tools to remove invasive plant species from this control plot. Hand tools will also be used to dig holes for the preparation of planting native shrubs. Participants may also help build cages to protect these young plants from animal browse and other hazards. Additionally, native plant seeds will be spread to supplement the native flora in this plot. This is a great opportunity for adults and children at least seven years old, accompanied by a parent or guardian at least 18 years old. Gloves will be provided, although volunteers may want to bring their own gloves to ensure a good fit.
Minnewaska State Park Preserve was chosen as one of two New York State Parks to host a BioBlitz during I Love My Park Day. The BioBlitz is designed for scientific professionals and experts to come together in an effort to document as many species and communities as possible while surveying for rarities during a 24-hour inventory that will take place from Saturday, May 3 from 10:30 am through Sunday, May 4, at 10:30 am. The main focus will include significant natural communities, rare invertebrates and "herps" (amphibians and reptiles), rare mosses and plants, in addition to fish, birds, mammals, and invasive species. There will be an education booth, open to the public, where visitors can learn more about this exciting event and the unique natural inhabitants of Minnewaska State Park Preserve. We encourage all visitors to stop by the BioBlitz education booth to learn more! For more information on the BioBlitz, please visit http://ptny.org/ilovemypark/bioblitz.shtml
It is recommended that participants bring plenty of water, lunch, snacks, sunglasses, insect repellent and sunscreen. And, it is required that participants wear work shoes, preferably hiking boots, and wear long pants.
I Love My Park Day is coordinated at the statewide level by Parks & Trails New York (PTNY) in partnership with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP).
The legacy of New York's park system is unparalleled, including 179 state parks, 35 state historic sites, 1,350 miles of hiking trails and a total of 325,000 acres. More than 60 million visitors enjoy New York's state parks and historic sites annually.
Minnewaska is unique within the New York State Park system as it is the largest of only six parks having the distinction of being classified and protected as a Park Preserve. This classification is reserved for parks with unique and sensitive environments that are located near major metropolitan areas. Minnewaska is home to a highly unusual geology and globally rare ecosystems. Visited as a natural place of great beauty for over 100 years, the landscape includes numerous majestic waterfalls, four pristine sky lakes, and over 35 miles of carriage roads and 40 miles of hiking trails. And, this very special place is located only 90 miles from the New York City metropolitan area.
Those interested in volunteering for I Love My Park Day at Minnewaska State Park Preserve can register by visiting http://www.ptny.org/ilovemypark
or by calling the Park Preserve Office at 845-255-0752.
The fee for parking at Minnewaska is $8 per car, but will be waived for registered volunteers for I Love My Park Day. Minnewaska State Park Preserve consists of over 23, 000 acres of wild and scenic land located on Route 44/55, five miles west of the intersection with Route 299 in Gardiner, New York.
The Palisades Interstate Park Commission administers 30 parks, parkways and historic sites for the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation in New York as well as the Palisades Interstate Park and parkway in New Jersey. For more information about New York State Parks, please visit http://www.nysparks.com.
Parks & Trails New York is the leading statewide organization working to preserve and enhance a network of parks, greenways and trails for all New Yorkers for generations to come. For more information, visit http://www.ptny.org.