Flight 93 Site, Laurel Hill Park, Forbes State Forest seeks volunteers to help with projects

Volunteers are needed to complete projects, such as picking up trash on land and water, improving trails and building birdhouses at state and federal parks in Westmoreland, Fayette and Somerset counties as part of a national effort to improve public lands.

On National Public Lands Day on Saturday, volunteers at Laurel Hill State Park near Trent in Somerset County will build bluebird boxes for the park’s new bluebird trail or renovate the popular Jones Mill Run dam, which is one of the focal points of the park. Volunteers can register by calling the Laurel Hill Visitor Center at 814-352-8649.

Laurel Hill often draws nearly 40 volunteers on National Public Lands Day, which is hosted in part by the National Park Service, said Mike Mumau, operations manager for Laurel Hill, Kooser and Laurel Ridge State Parks. .

With 200,000 acres of public land in the Laurel Highlands, people volunteer in the parks, which Mumau said he believes is “the highest form of stewardship you can have. It’s so important because it’s there for their enjoyment,” Mumau said.

At Friendship Hill National Historic Site near Farmington, home of Albert Gallatin, who served as U.S. Treasury Secretary in the early 1800s, volunteers are needed to pick up litter from 9 a.m. to noon along the park boundary and the main road leading to the park and trails. . To participate, register on Volunteer.gov and search for Friendship Hill.

The Laurel Mountain volunteer group will improve trails in the Forbes State Forest, east of Ligonier, beginning at 10 a.m., said Rachel Mahony, environmental education specialist at the State Forest. Light refreshments will be available for volunteers as they gather at the Laurel Mountain Warming Hut along Laurel Summit Road.

Volunteers not registered with the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources volunteer database should register with www.volunteers.dcnr.state.pa.us/ and select Forbes State Forest. For more information, contact Mahony at 724-238-1200 or [email protected]

The Friends of Keystone State Park will host the annual pollution group paddle at Keystone State Park in Derry Township, where volunteers will remove litter from the lake from 10 a.m. to noon.

Kayaks will be available for those who need them. For those who don’t want to venture into the lake, volunteers are needed to clean up litter along the shore. Lunch will be provided, so volunteers are asked to pre-register on the DCNR events page at //events.dcnr.pa.gov/. For more information, email: [email protected]

The National Flight 93 Memorial near Shanksville will be a stopping point along a 24-mile route from Berlin, Somerset County, to the memorial and back to Berlin.

The bike ride is sponsored by members of the 911 Trail Riders, which helps develop the 1,300-mile trail that connects 9/11, crash sites in New York City to Shanksville, and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. to From 11:30 a.m. to noon at the site of Flight 93, a National Park Service interpretive ranger will tell the story of Flight 93.

Proceeds from the hike will support efforts to expand and maintain the 1,300-mile multi-use trail. To register for the race, go to runsignup.com/Race/PA/Berlin/2022TourdeTrail.

For those looking for entertainment, Friends of Flight 93 will be hosting Pints ​​for Parks from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Forbes Trail Brewery, located less than half a mile from the entrance to the memorial on Route 30.

Musicians will perform during this time and the brewery will donate all proceeds from the sale of its special edition, Giving Back Pale Ale, to enhance the Western Overlook project at the memorial. Friends of Flight 93 is working to beautify the spot where the families of Flight 93 passengers and crew were first brought to the crash site.

Joe Napsha is a staff writer for Tribune-Review. You can contact Joe by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

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