Join volunteers across the nation on Saturday, Sept. 25, starting at 8:30 a.m., taking part in National Public Lands Day - the largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands in the United States.
National Public Lands Day began in 1994 and is organized each year by the National Environmental Education Foundation. NPLD promotes the connection between people and the environment by inviting everyone to get outside. NPLD brings together hundreds of thousands of individual and organizational volunteers to help restore the country’s public lands. These are the places Americans use for outdoor recreation, education, and just plain enjoyment. These lands encompass national parks, monuments, wildlife refuges, forests, grasslands, marine sanctuaries, lakes, and reservoirs, as well as state, county, and city parks that are managed by public agencies, but that belong to and are enjoyed by all of us, said officials.
This year’s project at Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park will focus on removing vegetation along the roadside of Sanders Road on Lookout Mountain. Sanders Road is a park road connecting Ochs Highway to Scenic Highway. It is used by residents of Lookout Mountain and visitors to the many tourist attractions on Lookout Mountain. Currently, in some areas of the roadway, exotic invasive plant species like Chinese privet and bush honeysuckle are encroaching upon the roadway. The park would like the assistance of volunteers to remove these invasive species and make the road safer for traffic. As a notice, the gates to Sanders Road at Ochs Highway and Scenic Highway will be closed until 1 p.m. for the safety of participants. Those looking to use Sanders Road during this time will need to find an alternate route.
Participants will meet at the Sanders Road Picnic Area on Sanders Road, on Lookout Mountain, to sign up. Participants should wear clothes they don't mind getting dirty. For safety reasons and due to the nature of the work, clothing should include long pants, long-sleeve shirt and closed toed boots or shoes, no open toed shoes. The park will provide all necessary tools and personal protective equipment, but if a participant wants to bring their own set of gloves or protective eyewear, they may do so. The park will also provide water and snacks.
National Public Lands Day is a “Fee-Free Day” as well— entrance fees are waived at national parks and other public lands on Saturday, Sept. 25. This includes Point Park on top of Lookout Mountain. For visitors interested in learning more about Civil War history associated with Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain, park rangers will be conducting walking tours inside Point Park at 11 a.m. at 2 p.m. The Lookout Mountain Visitor Center will be open from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. and rangers will be available to answer any questions and provide information about the park and the Battles for Chattanooga.