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12 September 2007
JSU Announces Plans for Public Lands Day

JSU’s Little River Canyon Center gets its floors poured at the 25,000 sq/ft LEED registered facility. The Center will be home to National Park Service which adjoins the JSU property near Fort Payne, Alabama.

On Saturday, September 29th, the nation will celebrate public lands from coast to coast. Closer to home and near Fort Payne, Alabama, Jacksonville State University will coordinate with the National Park Service to celebrate the Little River Canyon National Preserve.

“For us, National Public Lands Day is an opportunity to better understand the operation of a Park unit, help by cleaning up some litter and also learn more about the Little River Canyon Center”, said Pete Conroy, Director of JSU’s Environmental Policy and Information Center.

JSU is currently building a 25,000 square foot center to house the National Park Service and field school programs. The facility will include many public spaces such as an auditorium, classrooms, an educational store, and trails that connect to the National Preserve.

“This event will tie in beautifully with the mission of Public Lands Day and we look forward to participating,” said John Bundy, Superintendent of the Little River Canyon National Preserve.

National Public Lands Day began in 1994 with three federal agencies and 700 volunteers. Last year nearly 100,000 volunteers worked in 1,100 locations and in every state. Now, 9 federal agencies and many state and local lands participate in this annual day of caring for shared lands.

National Public Lands Day keeps the promise of the Civilian Conservation Corps, the "tree army" that worked from 1933-42 to preserve and protect America's natural heritage.

The annual event has three primary goals:  To educate Americans about critical environmental and natural resources issues and the need for shared stewardship of these valued, irreplaceable lands; To build partnerships between the public sector and the local community based upon mutual interests in the enhancement and restoration of America's public lands; And to improve public lands for outdoor recreation, with volunteers assisting land managers in hands-on work.

Those interested in attending this free and volunteer event should come to the old Little River Canyon campground on Hwy 35 near the DeKalb/Cherokee County line at 9:00 a.m. Refreshments will be served, tours of the facility will be offered and a volunteer clean-up effort will follow where groups will be organized to clean up litter on trails and site of the future Little River Canyon Center. Participants should bring gloves and wear appropriate shoes.

For more information please contact JSU at 256-782-8010 or the NPS at 256-845-9605.

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