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Hittin' the Trails 4 You: National Public Lands Day on September - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Hittin' the Trails 4 You: National Public Lands Day on September 26th

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TUCSON - The Coronado National Forest is proud to participate in National Public Lands Day, the nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands on Saturday, September 26, 2015.  Most day-use fees across the Forest will be waived, and events will take place at Madera and Sabino canyons.

In Madera Canyon, on the Nogales Ranger District, volunteers will partner with Borderlands Restoration, Friends of Madera Canyon, Sky Island Alliance, and the Coronado National Forest to enhance natural conditions near newly-constructed bridges.  The project is designed to prevent erosion from the construction site into Madera Creek, and to re-establish native vegetation on the site.  Participants will install native plants, build simple rock structures to slow the flow of water across the site (providing optimal locations for plants), and remove non-native plants.  A full team of volunteers have been recruited to complete the work.

In Sabino Canyon, on the Santa Catalina Ranger District an art dedication and an invasive plant removal project will take place.  At 10:00 in the visitor center, a painting by artist Louise Phillips entitled “Sands Meet the Pines” will be dedicated to the Coronado’s Sky Islands Children’s Forest in a short unveiling ceremony.  Volunteers will provide a table with Junior Ranger and other activities for children.  A second painting by the artist, which was created for the Red Rock Ranger District of the Coconino National Forest will also be unveiled.  The public is invited, and light refreshments will be provided.

Volunteers are needed from 7:00 to 10:00 a.m. to assist in removing non-native grasses in Sabino Canyon, to aid in restoration of the area to a more natural setting and reduce competition for limited resources such as moisture and soil nutrients between native and non-native, invasive plants.  Participants should meet at 7:00 in the Southern Arizona Rescue Association parking lot, 5990 N. Sabino Canyon Road.  Volunteers are encouraged to wear sturdy shoes, layered clothing and hats, and to bring sunscreen, water and snacks.  Tools, gloves and trash bags will be supplied by the Forest.  Please RSVP to Chrissy Pearson at (520) 749-7706 by close of business Thursday, September 24.

In celebration of National Public Lands Day, fees will be waived at most day-use sites on the Forest.  The fee-free program is managed in cooperation with other federal land management agencies under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act. Fees are waived generally for day-use areas, such as picnic grounds, developed trailheads and destination visitor centers. Concessionaire operated sites may be included in the waiver if the permit holder wishes to participate.

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