I Love My Park Day seeks park cleanup volunteers

Minnewaska State Park Preserve (photo by Julie O’Connor)

The Minnewaska State Park Preserve and Sam’s Point will both host volunteers as part of more than 135 cleanup, improvement and beautification events happening statewide this year. Volunteers may choose among four trail improvement projects and a garden improvement project, all of which will greatly benefit the Park Preserve. Volunteers will work alongside Park Preserve staff and/or New York/New Jersey Trail Conference members on each project.

The daily parking fee will be waived for registered volunteers participating at this event. For more information, call Minnewaska at (845) 255-0752 or Sam’s Point at (845) 647-7989. Preregistration is required by visiting www.ptny.org/ilovemypark.

Saturday, May 1, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Movin’ rocks on Verkeerderkill Falls footpath at Sam’s Point 

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This well-loved trail needs some shoring up! We will be moving rocks onto the trail bed, in places that have been worn down. This will create a more stable footbed that hikers are more likely to follow. Now, hikers trample sensitive plants on the trail edge as they seek to avoid a wet and uneven trail surface. This is a great project for those who want to get outside and put some love back into the trails you use, learn new trail work techniques and make some new friends. Volunteers should bring water, snacks and lunch. Safety glasses and work gloves will be provided, but please bring them if you have your own. Please be sure to wear sturdy hiking or work boots and long pants. Lunch will be eaten out on the trail. We will break into two groups of ten people to ensure social distancing is adequate. This volunteer opportunity is appropriate for adults and children who are at least 13 years old, accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 18. Due to Covid protocols, the total number of participants for this program is limited to 20 individuals. All participants must wear face coverings or keep a minimum of six-foot distance away from others who are not part of their immediate household.  For more information, call the Sam’s Point Visitor Center at (845) 647-7989

Pre-registration is required by visiting:  www.ptny.org/ilovemypark.

Sunday, May 2, 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Waking up the Sam’s Point pollinator garden

The bees are buzzing, the butterflies are fluttering and the flowers are blooming. Help Sam’s Point staff beautify and maintain its native plant garden, located in front of the Visitor Center. Once the garden is complete, head out onto the trails to remove invasive plant species. Volunteers should bring water, snacks, lunch and garden gloves. Volunteers must start at 9:30 a.m., but the end time is flexible.

This volunteer opportunity is appropriate for adults and children who are at least five years old, accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 18. Due to COVID protocols, the total number of participants for this program is limited to 15 individuals. All participants must wear face coverings or keep a minimum of six-foot distance away from others who are not part of their immediate household.  For more information, call the Sam’s Point Visitor Center at (845) 647-7989. Preregistration is required by visiting www.ptny.org/ilovemypark.

Sunday, May 2, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.: Trailwork on Awosting Falls Connector Footpath at Minnewaska

For this project, volunteers will work with New York/New Jersey Trail Conference members and Park Preserve staff to harden and repair the trail surface on the Awosting Falls Connector Footpath. Deep puddles frequently form on this section of trail, and hikers walk around the edges of these wet spots, widening the trail in the process. Volunteers will move gravel and apply it to the trail surface, hardening this treadway and protecting it from erosion. Some tasks will be physically demanding and may involve carrying, lifting and bending, as well as using hand tools, such as shovels, prybars and sledgehammers. It is recommended that volunteers bring work gloves, waterproof boots and clothes they don’t mind getting dirty, as this project area may be muddy and wet. Volunteers are also encouraged to bring their own tools.

This program is appropriate for children over the age of 13, accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 18. Due to COVID protocols, the total number of participants for this program is limited to eight individuals. All participants must wear face coverings or keep a minimum of six-foot distance away from others who are not part of their immediate household. Meet at the Peter’s Kill parking area. For more information, please call Minnewaska at (845) 255-0752.  Preregistration is required by visiting www.ptny.org/ilovemypark.

Sunday, May 2, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.: Improving trail conditions/markers at Peter’s Kill Area of Minnewaska

For this project, volunteers will work with New York/New Jersey Trail Conference members and Park Preserve staff to install posts with trail blazes on sections of the Red Loop Footpath. While the path is well-defined, sections of this trail are missing trail blazes, which may confuse park patrons or encourage them to leave the trail. The goal is to define the trail clearly for hikers. Volunteers will use posthole diggers and shovels to create holes to insert the posts, level the posts and fill the holes back in. If weather conditions allow, volunteers will also paint these posts. Additionally, a separate team will dig out existing water bars, helping to keep water off the trail and preventing the surface from getting wet and muddy. Puddles and wet conditions often lead hikers to widen the trail by sidestepping the messy areas. Some tasks will be physically demanding and may involve carrying, lifting and bending. It is recommended that volunteers bring work gloves, sturdy boots and clothes they don’t mind getting dirty, as this project may be messy. Volunteers are also encouraged to bring their own tools.

This program is appropriate for children over the age of 13, accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 18. Due to COVID protocols, the total number of participants for this program is limited to ten individuals. All participants must wear face coverings or keep a minimum of six-foot distance away from others who are not part of their immediate household. Meet at the Peter’s Kill parking area. For more information or questions, please call Minnewaska at (845) 255-0752. Preregistration is required by visiting www.ptny.org/ilovemypark.

Sunday, May 2, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.: Bridge repair on Jenny Lane Footpath at Minnewaska

For this project, volunteers will be working with New York/New Jersey Trail Conference members and Park Preserve staff to repair a section of the bog bridge on the Jenny Lane Footpath. Volunteers will perform and assist with the following tasks: carrying lumber one half-mile on the Jenny Lane Footpath to the worksite, removing broken boards, replacing broken boards and carrying broken boards back to the project meeting point. Some tasks will be physically demanding and may involve carrying, lifting and bending, as well as using hand tools, such as hammers, handsaws, cordless drills and crowbars. It is recommended that volunteers bring work gloves, waterproof boots and clothes they don’t mind getting dirty, as this project area may be muddy and wet. Volunteers are also encouraged to bring their own tools.

This program is appropriate for children over the age of 13, accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 18. Due to COVID protocols, the total number of participants for this program is limited to four individuals. All participants must wear face coverings or keep a minimum of six-foot distance away from others who are not part of their immediate household. Meet at the Peter’s Kill parking area. For more information or questions, please call Minnewaska at (845) 255-0752. Preregistration is required by visiting www.ptny.org/ilovemypark.