TRENTON, N.J.—The Mercer County Park Commission is enlisting the help of local volunteers to get their hands dirty and kick off Mercer County’s First Annual National Public Lands Day, Sunday, October 4. From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., workers and volunteers will gather at Baldpate Mountain in Hopewell Township to remove invasive species from the forest, harvest native plant seeds, and clear and beautify walking trails.
National Public Lands Day is the Nation’s largest hands-on volunteer effort to improve public landscapes across the United States. Having been in operation for the past 16 years, the event has been increasingly successful over time. Last year, 120,000 volunteers built trails and bridges, removed trash and invasive plant species, and planted over 1.6 million trees nation wide.
“I am pleased to see the Mercer County community become part of a greater movement, especially one such as National Public Lands Day,” said County Executive Brian M. Hughes. “It’s inspiring to see volunteers dedicate their time and efforts to benefit our environment, and I hope people continue to become involved in this great cause in years to come.”
The event is taking root in Mercer County with the hopes of offering an education to residents on native flora and fauna in addition to encouraging pride and consideration for Mercer County public land and parks. Volunteers will be guided and taught how to remove harmful species of plants and how to maintain and protect their own property. The Volunteer efforts will greatly assist in the extensive process and lessen the need for professional removal.
In addition to the Mercer County Park Commission, Master Gardener of Mercer County and Friends of Hopewell Valley Open-Space will co-sponsor the event. Volunteers will meet at the Fiddlers Creek Road Parking lot where they will be shuttled to and from Baldpate Mountain. Participants are encouraged to bring work gloves, water, and trail sustenance to maintain energy for the clean up process.
Those interested in volunteering must pre-register with the Mercer County Park Commission at (609) 883-6606 extension 112 by September 30. Space availability is limited to 50 participants.