Regional
9:08 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Carlsbad Caverns Wants Volunteers For National Public Lands Day

Volunteers help to remove weathered glass and assorted metal objects from an old dumping site at Carlsbad Caverns National Park./NPS Photos
Volunteers help to remove weathered glass and assorted metal objects from an old dumping site at Carlsbad Caverns National Park./NPS Photos

  CARLSBAD –  On Saturday, September 28, 2013, Carlsbad Caverns National Park will recognize National Public Lands Day by offering free general entry to the cavern. This year marks the 20th anniversary of National Public Lands Day, the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands. Free general entry will provide access to the two self-guided trails in the cavern, the Big Room and Main Corridor trails. All other ranger-led tours will require normal fees.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park also would like to invite the public to take part in a volunteer service project to actively improve their public lands. Volunteers will join rangers in collecting and removing weathered glass and some metal objects from a dumping area that has not been used for more than 80 years.

Items in the dump were discarded by residents, visitors, and staff in the 1920s when Carlsbad Caverns was still a monument. This area was previously outside of the monument’s boundaries and there was no garbage collection in place at the time. Museum Curator David W. Kayser said of the project, “Removing the broken glass will help restore this location to a more natural condition. And park archeologists will sort through removed items to gain some insights into the people who lived in and visited the park in its early days.”

Advance registration is required to participate in the service project. To register, contact Education Specialist Helen Fields by September 25 by phone at (575) 785-3127 or by email at Helen_m_fields@nps.gov.

Volunteers should arrive at the Carlsbad Caverns visitor center at 9 a.m. to receive orientation and to caravan a short distance to the work site. The site is 1/4 mile from a parking area and can only be accessed by foot over rocky, vegetated desert terrain. We recommend strong, sturdy footwear, preferably boots. Also, volunteers who own gloves are asked to bring them. Water will be provided by the park. The project will conclude at 12 p.m., when lunch will be provided for all volunteers.

For more information contact Helen Fields (575) 785-3127.