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Volunteers help clean trails and beaches at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

The effort is all a part of National Public Lands Day
Many people help pick up garbage on trails and beaches for National Public Lands Day
Many people help pick up garbage on trails and beaches for National Public Lands Day(WLUC)
Published: Sep. 25, 2021 at 5:55 PM EDT
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MUNISING, Mich. (WLUC) - Since 1994, the U.S. has recognized the fourth Saturday of September as National Public Lands Day. It is a day that the National Park Service calls “the nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort” to keep parks and beaches clean.

On Saturday morning, at least a dozen people tidied up the trails, Miners Beach and Sand Point Beach at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

“Definitely after the summer, our beaches can definitely use a cleanup,” said Park Ranger Scott Berry. “You see a lot of plastic. I think it’s very important to have a nice clean beach.”

Volunteers walked around and picked up anything from cigarette butts to plastic bags and even bike seats.

Jessica Gates, who backpacked at the lakeshore with a friend over the summer, says this was something she had to do.

“We saw garbage laying around, and we were doing multiple days,” Gates said. “So, we weren’t able to pick up and carry stuff as we went. But, we saw a lot that was left behind. I wanted to come pick it up and make {the area} nice for the next person.”

Berry says it does not have to be just Public Lands Day when people can clear the areas.

“We have visitor center volunteers, lighthouse volunteers, and we also just have groups and individuals throughout the summer clean up our beaches, our trails, and our backcountry campsites,” he explained.

Gates has a message for those planning to visit any park in the future.

“I’m a firm believer in ‘leave no trace,’” she stated. “If you take it with you, pack it out with you.”

Anyone who visits Pictured Rocks and any other parks are reminded to pick up after themselves in order to keep the spaces clean and beautiful.

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