Get your hands dirty and help local parks celebrate National Public Lands Day

Holly Viers • Sep 20, 2018 at 8:35 AM

KINGSPORT — Parks throughout Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia need your help Saturday as they celebrate National Public Lands Day.

Organized yearly by the National Environmental Education Foundation, the event invites people to volunteer at their favorite outdoor destination, ensuring that public lands can be enjoyed for years to come.

Below are some of the local parks participating in the event.

Warriors Path State Park

From 10 a.m. to noon, volunteers are invited to assist the park in maintaining public use areas. Tasks include clearing flower beds and clearing brush from recent storm damage to ensure the park is ready for fall.

Volunteers are encouraged to wear clothes that can get dirty and to bring work gloves and water. Meet at the pool parking lot adjacent to the park office at 10 a.m.

To register, visit tnstateparks.com/parks/warriors-path, click on “Upcoming Events” and select “National Public Lands Day.” For more information, call (423) 239-8531.

Bays Mountain Park

The park will host a workday from 8:30 a.m. to noon. While working with a park naturalist and other volunteers, participants will hike roughly four miles around Lake Road Trail, removing branches, overgrowth and trash.

Volunteers should meet in front of the Farmstead Museum at 8:30 a.m. and are highly encouraged to wear closed-toe shoes. Water bottles, hats, work gloves and bug repellent are highly recommended.

Preregistration is required by calling the Nature Center at (423) 229-9447. For more information, visit www.baysmountain.com/national-public-lands-day.

Natural Tunnel State Park

Join Region Natural Resource Specialist Jordon Blevins from 9-11 a.m. as he discusses various alien species that disrupt native plants in this area. Participants will learn how to rid their homes of these non-native species and make their land safer for native plants.

Afterwards, volunteers will remove some of these unwanted plants from areas throughout the park. Participants should meet at the Visitor Center, wear shoes and clothing that can get dirty and bring work gloves, if possible.

Register by calling the park office at (276) 940-2674. For more information, visit www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/ and search for Natural Tunnel.