Release Number: BMFO-2004-40
For Release: September 24, 2004
NATIONAL PUBLIC LANDS DAY DRAWS 35 VOLUNTEERS TO MILL CREEK CAMPGROUND
Mill Creek Campground located near Battle Mountain, NV, got a helping hand when 35 volunteers donated 218 hours to build a bridge, create an interpretive trail and install plant identification signs to celebrate National Public Lands Day (NPLD) on Saturday, September 18. Local volunteers joined thousands of others at 500 sites nationwide to enhance their public lands. The theme for this year’s event was “Lend a Hand to America’s Lands,” and Battle Mountain volunteers certainly responded in kind.
The Mill Creek Campground NPLD project attracted volunteers from the Battle Mountain community and High School Leadership Group and Honor Society. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) organized the event and several staff members donated their time to help out. Volunteers worked very hard using Pulaski’s and other equipment to outline the interpretive trail. They also hauled gravel, pounded nails, built steps, installed interpretive plant identification signs, cut 4 x4’s to build the bridge, and anything else that needed to be done to produce results – even during afternoon rains.
Denise Clark and her daughter Lauren (“Reni”) were there, “to carry out a family legacy of supporting environmental stewardship.” Papa, great-grandfather to Reni, had worked as a Trails Manager for Glacier National Park and instilled in his family the value of protecting natural areas. Clark said that by helping out at Mill Creek, they are continuing their own family tradition of preserving and enhancing recreation areas.
Linda McDowell said that she was involved in creating the Mill Creek Campground site in 1992 and had a “wonderful time” working with other volunteers to build fence line and construct parking areas - among other projects. She described the 2004 NPLD event as, “So much fun plus good food to eat.” McDowell concentrated her efforts on supporting the bridge building effort.
The Wiley family (Becky, Trevor & Tori) was there because they use the campground “all the time” and because Trevor encouraged them to participate “just to be nice.”
Battle Mountain High School Juniors and members of the Dance Team, Danielle Taylor, Tiffany Humphreys, Michelle Chavez, Kim Werner and Brooke Gauthier, concentrated on the interpretive trail. Daniel Saldivar, Senior Honor Society, helped wherever he was needed.
They agreed that the “work was harder than it looked” but hung in there using Pulaski’s, shovels and rakes to create a defined trail. Everyone but Danielle, when they were in gradeschool, had attended the BLM’s 6th grade Environmental Education Day held annually at Mill Creek Campground. Danielle is also a member of the Leadership Group (new at the High School this year); Tiffany, Michelle and Kim are members of the Honor Society and Brooke is a member of the Honor Society and Leadership Group. Senior High School student, Mileva Yant, was there to take photos for the Battle Mountain Bugle and to help her aunt, Terri Denis, sign in volunteers and pass out T-shirts and fee-free coupons.
Since its inception in 1994, National Public Lands Day has dramatically demonstrated Americans’ concern for their public lands. The first event was sponsored by three federal agencies and attracted 700 volunteers to three sites. Last year, nine federal agencies and over 125 state and local partners supported the work of 80,000 volunteers at 550 sites.
“Saturday clearly showed the commitment of the American people to our special places,” said Kevin Coyle, president of The National Environmental Education & Training Foundation, which coordinates NPLD. “By the thousands they gave up a Saturday to come out to preserve and protect America’s lands. In all, more than $8 million worth of labor and supplies was contributed.” Locally, John Davis Trucking donated 20 yards of gravel for the newly designed interpretive trail.
For the sixth consecutive year, Toyota Motor Sales USA sponsored National Public Lands Day. The nine participating federal agencies were the National Park Service, USDA Forest Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation, Department of Defense, Environmental Protection Agency, and Tennessee Valley Authority. Other event partners were some 125 state, county, and city partners, including state parks departments in the District of Columbia, Delaware, Minnesota, New Mexico, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Washington. Joining them were the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, Garden Club of America, National Parks Conservation Association, International Mountain Bicycling Association, and scores of other nonprofit organizations.
“Volunteer participation at Mill Creek was outstanding,” said Robert Perrin, BLM Outdoor Recreation Planner and NPLD project lead. He added, “In one day, all planned projects were completed. The work was often difficult and required the use of muscles that were probably sore the next day!” The BLM is very grateful to all those who pitched in and looks forward to even more local residents lending a hand a year from now.”
- BLM -