Volunteers Celebrate National Public Lands Day with Projects to Improve BLM Recreation Areas


More than 100 volunteers turned out at Simon Canyon Recreation Area on Saturday, September 15, 2012, to improve trails, cut brush, paint post and cable fences, and install metal campfire rings.

“The recreation area is looking better than ever,” said Janelle Alleman of the Bureau of Land Management Farmington Field Office.  “It’s great to see so many volunteers out today, giving back to their public lands.”

The event was held in celebration of National Public Lands Day, when the public helps improve public lands.  Simon Canyon is a BLM recreation area east of the Navajo Dam community. 

Saturday’s activities also included making improvements to the nearby BLM Trucha Rosilla Day Use Area, on the west side of the Navajo Dam community along the San Juan River.

The event would not have been possible without supplies, materials and services contributed by local companies. 

Simon Canyon Recreation Area is along the catch-and-release trout fishing waters of the San Juan River.  Much of Saturday’s work was lining the edges of trails with river rocks and spreading fine gravel on trails, so the public has better access to the river and camping spots.

From a huge pile of rocks in the recreation area parking lot, volunteers hauled rocks in wheelbarrows and five-gallon buckets.  Their work also added beauty to the recreation area.

“It’s good, hard work,” said volunteer Merle Monk of Farmington.

Bill Kennedy of the Farmington Noonday Civitans, said this was his eighth year as a National Public Lands Day volunteer.  Kenendy brought eight other Noonday Civitans with him.

“I like being out in the open, in the sunshine, doing real work,” Kennedy said.  “We’re community service oriented.”

At the lunch that volunteers were served around noon, Jessica Alton of Farmington said she liked the feeling of togetherness among volunteers.  “It’s just good to see people coming together as one to help out,” she said.

Leftover food was delivered to the homeless shelter in Farmington. 


Boy Scouts of America Troop 322 members Ryan Paquin and Marshall Magnesun carry a log during the National Public Lands Day project at Simon Canyon Recreation Area on Saturday.
Boy Scouts of America Troop 322 members Ryan Paquin and Marshall Magnesun carry a log during the National Public Lands Day project at Simon Canyon Recreation Area on Saturday.