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Posted 9/15/2015

Release no. 15-083

Erica Skolte

ALVA, Fla. – The Jacksonville District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers invites the public to participate in a day of service at the W.P. Franklin Lock and Dam Recreation Area near Alva on Saturday, September 26. Activities include planting native trees and shrubs.

“National Public Lands Day is a great opportunity for Americans to experience the wondrous beauty of these United States,” said park ranger Brian Scott Older, organizer of the event. “Volunteers can contribute and foster stewardship of these great lands.”

The event will take place 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the W.P. Franklin Lock Recreation Area, 1660 South Franklin Lock Road, Alva, Florida. Please RSVP by calling Older at the W.P. Franklin Lock Visitor Center at 239-694-2582. For information about additional opportunities nationwide, visit www.publiclandsday.org.

Volunteers who participate in the Franklin Lock activity will receive a fee-free coupon. The fee-free coupon is valid for one year from date of issue and may be used for one day of entrance or day-use fees at any participating federal agency’s park, forest or recreation area that charges either of these types of fees. For more information on the fee-free day and coupons visit http://www.publiclandsday.org/highlights/fee-free-day-and-coupons.

Thousands of volunteers are expected to support more than 90 Corps projects participating in this year’s National Public Lands Day, the largest annual volunteer hands-on restoration activity of its kind. Volunteers at Corps sites will take part in tree planting, erosion control, bank stabilization, building trails, restoring recreation areas, trash pickup, removing invasive species and non-native plants, improving wildlife habitats, harvesting prairie plant seeds and rehabilitating playgrounds.

Last year, more than 16,000 volunteers participated in National Public Lands Day activities at 107 Corps lakes. The volunteers cleaned 1,300 miles of shoreline, maintained 143 miles of trails, removed 138,000 pounds of trash, and planted approximately 1,100 trees and shrubs on Corps-managed lands.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will also waive day-use fees normally charged at its boat launch ramps and swimming beaches nationwide on Sept. 26 in recognition of National Public Lands Day.

The waiver will not apply to camping and camping-related services, or fees for specialized facilities such as group picnic shelters. Other agencies and partners that manage recreation areas located on Corps lands are encouraged, but not required, to comply with this waiver.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been involved with National Public Lands Day since its inception in 1994 and has consistently been one of the event’s largest providers of sites and volunteers. As the nation’s leading federal provider of water-based recreation, the Corps manages more than 400 lake and river projects in 43 states. With 90 percent of these projects located within 50 miles of metropolitan areas, Corps sites provide a wide range of safe and affordable outdoor recreation opportunities close to home.

Please share photos of your family and friends volunteering or enjoying Corps recreation areas on as comments on our morning National Public Lands Day posts on the Lake Okeechobee and the Okeechobee Waterway Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LakeOkeechobeeOWW and the Jacksonville District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JacksonvilleDistrict.

Jacksonville District National Public Lands Day U.S. Army Corps of Engineers USACE volunteer W.P. Franklin