National Park Service Seeks Local Volunteers for Service Projects on National Public Lands Day

Saguaro National Park and the Desert Research Learning Center are seeking volunteers to assist with a two service projects on Public Lands Day, September 26, Public Lands Day. This year, Saguaro National Park has events in both districts of the park for volunteers.

“National Public Lands Day is such a great opportunity to engage the local Tucson community in service at the park,” said Superintendent Darla Sidles. “We hope to increase volunteerism at Saguaro National Park in its Centennial Year with events such as these.”

In the Tucson Mountain District (TMD- west), park staff will host a buffelgrass pull with 35 volunteers. Buffelgrass crowds out native plants with its rapid and aggressive growth, alters wildlife habitat, and increases the risk of wildfires. Buffelgrass-fueled wildfires burns very hot, spread rapidly, and are capable of destroying cactus and wildlife alike, change the Sonoran Desert as we know it. These pulls allow us to achieve success at controlling the noxious weed at a small scale.

On the east side of Tucson, 25 volunteers are needed to help beautify and create an outdoor educational environment for the new Desert Research Learning Center. We will be planting native trees and shrubs, including Kino fruit trees, installing drip irrigation, landscaping, weeding, mulching, creating rainwater harvesting basins, and establishing a nature trail at this new environmental education center. If you are planning on doing service, please bring water and lunch and wear close-toed shoes and long pants. Tools and gloves for work will be provided.

National Public Lands Day (NPLD) – the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands – is a celebration of the work, play and learning that takes place on Public Lands Every Day. National Public Lands Day began in 1994 with three federal agencies and 700 volunteers. This year, seven federal agencies and many state and local lands participated in this annual day of caring for shared lands. One third of America's land is in public hands, and NPLD offers everyone a chance to help maintain them.

Details – Tucson Mountain District, west of Tucson

· When: 8am – 12pm

· Where: TMD - 2700 N Kinney Rd ., Tucson, Arizona 85743:

· What: 35 volunteers will be doing an invasive buffelgrass pull with park staff. They will meet at the Red Hills Visitor Center and hike to a patch of buffelgrass for the pull.

Details – Rincon Mountain District, Desert Research Learning Center, east of Tucson

· When: 8am - 2pm

· Where: Desert Research Leaning Center - 12661 E. Broadway Blvd., Tucson, Arizona 85748

· What: 25 volunteers are needed to work on the landscaping the new outdoor classroom.

Special Ranger Programs

· The History of the National Park Service – 11:30 at the Desert Research Learning Center.

· The Civilian Conservation Corps - 12:15 PM at the Red Hills Visitor Center, Tucson Mountain District (TMD – west).

To find out more about the projects, visit https://www.neefusa.org/public-lands-day and search for “Saguaro National Park.” For more information about Saguaro National Park volunteer programs or to plan your visit, visit the park’s webpage at https://www.nps.gov/sagu/index.htm.

The National annual event is hosted by NEEF (National Environmental Education Foundation).

Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. is the national sponsor for NPLD, providing support and thousands of employee volunteers for the 17th consecutive year.