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Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adam Dunn has extended an invitation to state park visitors to join her in a day of volunteer service to improve state parks by taking part in National Public Lands Day events across the state on Saturday (Sept. 26).

“Each year National Public Lands Day brings together more than 150,000 volunteers across the nation to refurbish and restore public places,” said Dunn, who will be volunteering at Pine Grove Furnace State Park,Cumberland County, in a press release. “A total of 24 of our state parks will be participating as volunteers, a vital cornerstone in our park system, don work gloves and boots and tackle an array of important projects.”

Marking its 20th year and billed as the nation’s largest hands-on volunteer effort to improve and enhance public lands Americans enjoy, National Public Lands Day is offered by the National Environmental Education Foundation to encourage and salute public contributions in parks, forests and open lands across the nation.

“Whether it’s trail maintenance at Centre County’s Black Moshannon State Park, or trail work at Oil Creek inVenango County, National Public Lands Day gives each of us a chance to contribute to the betterment of our public lands for this and future generations of Americans,” said Dunn. “This Saturday, local volunteers will have a unique chance to give something back to their country, their community, and the state parks that serve them. I encourage everyone to consider lending a helping hand.”

In 2009, in their initial involvement, 12 Pennsylvania state parks hosted National Public Lands Day events. This year, 24 state parks and environmental education centers will host volunteer groups in the national effort to improve and preserve habitat on public lands. Project details, registration and other information can be found on-line at www.publiclandsday.org.