OLYMPIA – Tomorrow, Saturday September 26, marks the 16th annual celebration of National Public Lands Day, the largest annual coast-to-coast, single-day volunteer effort to improve America’s public lands. Nationwide, organizers expect nearly 130,000 volunteers to participate.
In Western Washington, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and partners are expecting hundreds of volunteers to spend the day clearing invasive plants, repairing trails, and picking up litter at three areas managed by DNR. Volunteers will even be removing abandoned vehicles from a state forest.
Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark will participate with volunteers at two of DNR’s events: Tiger Mountain near Issaquah and then at Mima Mounds south of Olympia. The third event is at Yacolt Burn State Forest, north of Washougal.
“National Public Lands Day is an important day to appreciate the beauty and bounty of our state,” said Commissioner Goldmark. “Whether you are talking about recreation, clean water, or revenue for our schools, public lands provide wonderful benefits for all Washingtonians.”
DNR manages 5.6 million acres of public lands, including the forested alpine foothills of the Cascade Mountain range, shrub-steppe grasslands in eastern Washington, and marine and freshwater aquatic lands such as Puget Sound.
Along with providing revenue for trust beneficiaries such as public schools and universities, Washington’s public lands provide healthy habitats to sustain our state’s natural resources. These lands also provide access for the public to enjoy recreational opportunities such as hiking, mountain biking, horseback and off-road vehicle riding, and hunting and fishing.
National Public Lands Day events on DNR-managed lands:
Saturday, September 26
West Tiger Mountain Natural Resources Conservation Area
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
DNR, along with the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust and the City of Issaquah, are looking for volunteers to help pull out invasive plants and repair trails. Joining the event will be former participants of Greenway Summer Camps, a program for 10 to 18 year olds, and Washington Conservation Corps crew members.
Meet at the upper parking lot of the High Point Trailhead
Directions: Take Exit 20 from Interstate 90 east of Issaquah.
Contact: Doug McClelland, DNR, 206-920-5907 or email@example.com
Mima Mounds Natural Area Preserve event
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Help get rid of invasive weeds—particularly Scotch broom—and also repair trails.
Waddell Creek Road SW, Littlerock
Directions: Exit I-5 at Littlerock. Drive west through Littlerock and continue on 128th Avenue SW until it ends at an intersection with Waddell Creek Road. Turn right on Waddell Creek Road. The Mima Mounds entrance will be on the left. Drive slowly or you might miss it..
Contact: Roberta (Birdie) Davenport, DNR, 360-577-2025 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Pick Up the Burn — Yacolt Burn State Forest
8 to 9 a.m. — sign up
9 to 2 p.m. — clean up
2 to 4 p.m. — volunteer appreciation lunch
In the Yacolt Burn State Forest in Clark County, DNR and Piston’s Wild Motorsports are co-sponsoring the 7th Annual Pick Up the Burn. This event will bring volunteers from all recreation use types together to pick up garbage and haul out several abandoned vehicles. Doughnuts and lunch will be provided to volunteers.
Meet at the Jones Creek Trailhead (off of Lessard Road, about 6 miles north of Washougal)
From either northbound or southbound I-5, take I-205 exit.
Use Hwy 500 East (Exit 30-Orchards).
Go east on Hwy 500 to Fourth Plain (1st light) and turn right, continuing on Hwy 500 East (Camas).
Go 6.3 miles, turn left on 53rd Street.
Go 3.2 miles, turn left on Ireland Road.
Go .3 miles turn left on Lessard Road.
Continue on Lessard Road for 4 miles and follow signs to Jones Creek ORV.
Contact: Nick Cronquist, DNR, 360-575-5016 or email@example.com
National Public Lands Day
National Public Lands Day began in 1994 with three federal agencies and 700 volunteers. Last year, 120,000 volunteers participated in 1,800 locations and in every state.
For more information, visit National Public Lands Day at www.publiclandsday.org