Volunteers help put parks in top shape

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Over this past weekend, those of us who love our parks — those great facilities all across New York State — traveled to our favorites for I Love My Park Days.

Held the first Saturday in May, the annual event attracts thousands of volunteers from across the state to participate in cleanup, improvement, and beautification events at state parks and historic sites.

Delta Lake, Verona Beach and Pixley Falls state parks, Fort Stanwix and Rome Sand Plains Unique Area were among locations for volunteers, according to an announcement by state parks department officials.

Volunteers celebrate New York’s park system by cleaning up park lands and beaches, planting trees and gardens, restoring trail and wildlife habitat, removing invasive species, and working on various site improvement projects, the announcement added.

At state parks, volunteers cleaned up the campgrounds, beach and playground areas, and perform clean-up and spring cleaning, according the Parks and Trails website.

Volunteers at Fort Stanwix swept out the barracks, dusted replica furnishing and replaced old straw bedding with new.

At Rome Sand Plains, volunteers planned to trim, cut and put up trail markers on the Wood Creek and Blue trails, according to event organizers.

Meanwhile, at the Utica Marsh, volunteers picked up trash along the Erie Canal Trail leading to the marsh, clear blown-down tree branches and rake near the observation tower.

If you are among the thousands who will visit parks in the upcoming season, you owe a salute of thanks to those volunteers who got the facilities in tip-top shape.

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