Wilderness Workshop hosts restoration event at Dinkle Lake, national park entrance free on Public Lands Day

Audrey Ryan
The Aspen Times
Defiende Nuestra Tierra and Wilderness Workshop on National Public Lands Day 2020.
Courtesy of Wilderness Workshop

Wilderness Workshop and Defiende Nuestra Tierra will be celebrating National Public Lands Day on Saturday, Sept. 24, by getting in the public earth hands on with restoration and clean-up activities at Dinkle Lake Day Use Area.

But, sweat equity isn’t necessary: Entrance to national parks across the country is free this Saturday.

“Our restoration projects and National Public Lands Day are a way for us to give back to our local public lands, to get out on those landscapes we are trying to protect and then help people advocate for them as well,” Wilderness Workshop Communications Director Grant Stevens said.

Dinkle Lake, at the base of Mount Sopris, is next to popular hiking trails in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area. Wilderness Workshop and Defiende Nuestra Tierra will work with White River National Forest staff to restore local public lands.

“So many of these places helped restore us personally — whether that’s physically, emotionally or mentally — and this is a chance for us to do the same for the land,” Stevens said.

The day is organized and led by the National Environmental Education Foundation annually. The theme for this year’s Public Lands Day is “Giving Back Together.” Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, public lands were a place for people to go to safely get outside of the confines of their homes, and, now, it is time to give back to those spaces.

This is the nation’s largest volunteer day for public lands. Wilderness Workshop works to protect public lands in Western Colorado, focusing on U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands.

“We are really fortunate in the Roaring Fork Valley to be surrounded by absolutely incredible public lands, and days like this are really a chance to give back to those landscapes,” Grant said.

The annual event is free, guided and bilingual. Stevens said all are welcome, and they ask people to register on their website prior to attending.

Additionally, national parks throughout the country are waiving their entrance fee in honor of National Public Lands Day. Saturday is one of five “entrance fee-free” days in 2022. The past days were Jan. 17, April 16 and Aug. 4. The next entrance fee-free day will be Nov. 11, in honor of Veteran’s Day.

“Whether on an entrance fee-free day or throughout the year, we encourage everyone to discover their national parks and the benefits that come from spending time outdoors,” National Park Service Director Chuck Sams said in a news release. “National parks are for everyone, and we are committed to increasing access and providing opportunities for all to experience the sense of wonder, awe and refreshment that comes with a visit to these treasured landscapes and sites.”

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