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National Public Lands Day well worth celebrating

Saturday marks National Public Lands Day, which is observed each year on the fourth Saturday of September. Since National Public Lands Day was established in 1994, it’s been marked by volunteers going out to restore and improve public lands throughout the nation.

And although the COVID-19 pandemic has altered many annual events, observances and practices this year, there’s still a great local way to celebrate National Public Lands Day. A beach and trail clean up event will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

According to organizers, volunteers are needed on Saturday to help pick up trash on beaches, overlooks and trails in this beautiful area. Organizers will hand out bags and gloves and send volunteers off to various locations.

We encourage our readers to volunteer at this event, as it’s a great opportunity to get outside and enjoy the beautiful early fall scenery while protecting and honoring our public lands.

But if you’re not able to make the journey out to the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore on Saturday, consider doing a personal mini-cleanup of public lands by bringing a plastic bag and picking up any trash you might see on a short walk or hike. And no matter when or where you do it, removing litter can make all the difference for flora, fauna and the ecosystem as a whole.

We’re all in this together and we can each make the environment a safer, more beautiful place by protecting, honoring and respecting it.

For those who are interested in volunteering, organizers ask them to sign up ahead of time by calling 906-387-3700. Organizers said volunteers will meet Saturday outside of park headquarters at N8391 Sand Point Road, Munising or Grand Sable Visitor Center at E21090 County Road H-58, Grand Marais.

For more information about Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, visit www.nps.gov/piro or find it on Facebook.

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