Annual trash cleanup project is one way San Juan County residents can participate in National Public Lands Day

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FARMINGTON — People planning to visit Aztec Ruins National Monument or Chaco Culture National Historical Park can get in free Saturday as part of National Public Lands Day.

National Public Lands Day is an opportunity for people to connect with the public lands in their communities, according to the National Environmental Education Foundation, which coordinates National Public Lands Day.

The Bureau of Land Management's Farmington Field Office has organized a volunteer trash cleanup as a way to recognize National Public Lands Day.

Volunteers can pick up trash from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday in the Glade Run Recreation Area. The trash cleanup is an annual event for the field office.

Zach Stone, a spokesman for the BLM, said the Glade Run Recreation Area was chosen for the cleanup because of its close proximity to Farmington and because it has been a common dumping area for trash.

Last year, volunteers picked up more than 63 cubic yards of trash, which was taken to a landfill. The volunteers also picked up 35 tires. The total cost to dispose of the trash last year was about $157, according to Stone.

 

The Farmington Field Office is not the only organization inviting volunteers to participate in projects like trash cleanups on public lands. Other National Public Lands Day volunteer events in New Mexico include trail work in the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, the planting of trees at Santa Rosa Lake, and landscaping and trail-building projects at the historical house of conservationist and author Aldo Leopold in Tres Piedras.

Last year, more than 200,000 people participated in National Public Lands Day events at 2,600 sites across the United States, according to the National Environmental Education Foundation. The volunteers contributed about $18 million worth of improvements.

 

People interested in volunteering should check in at 8 a.m. at the BLM office at 6251 College Blvd. in Farmington. The volunteers will receive T-shirts. The National Environment Education Foundation is also giving volunteers public land passes. The BLM will provide the volunteers with gloves, water, trash bags and buckets.

Volunteers can email Chris Wenman at cwenman@blm.gov or call 505-564-7727 to let the BLM know they plan on participating. Volunteers who are younger than 18 years old must have a form signed by their parent or guardian.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.

 

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