New Germany State Park will be celebrating America’s 21st-annual National Public Lands Day on Saturday, September 27th, 2014. National Public Lands Day is a celebration of the work, play, and learning that takes place on public lands every day throughout the nation. National Public Lands Day brings together thousands of volunteers from coast to coast to improve and restore the lands and facilities that Americans use for recreation, education, exercise, and enjoyment. Last year, more than 175,000 Americans participated at more than 2,200 sites in all 50 states, Guam, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C.
In honor of this year’s National Public Lands Day, New Germany State Park will be hosting a volunteer activity for those who want to “lend a hand for public lands,” and also a guided hike for those who want to celebrate the recreational and educational benefits of public lands. The volunteer activity will begin at 9 am at the New Germany Lake House. From there, volunteers will team up with park staff to remove bush honeysuckle – an invasive plant that out-competes native plants in the park. Participants will learn the benefits of replacing non-native species with native plants to promote conservation and healthy ecological processes. This activity is best suited for participates ages 7 and up, and will require closed-toed shoes. Volunteers are encouraged to bring their own work gloves and drinking water. The project will conclude at 12 noon.
The guided hike will consist of a 4.3-mile hike on the Monroe Run Trail, which travels from New Germany Road to Big Run State Park. The hike will begin at 1 pm at the Monroe Run Trailhead on New Germany Road. This mostly down-hill hike is considered moderately difficult and will take about 3 to 3-1/2 hours complete. Participants must bring their own drinking water and wear hiking boots or shoes suitable for multiple ankle-deep stream crossings. At the conclusion of the hike, a shuttle service will be provided from Big Run State Park back to the trailhead on New Germany Road. The hike is limited to 10 participants, ages 7 and up. Participants are encouraged to pre-register by calling the Ranger Station at 301-895-5453.