Public Lands Day at Chapman Sat.

Public spaces provide a lot for Americans.

Recreation, learning opportunities and the surety the beauty of nature will be handed down to future generations are just a few.

This Saturday marks an opportunity for Americans to give back.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), Sept. 28 marks the 18th annual National Public Lands Day, offered by the National Environmental Education Foundation; and 21 Pennsylvania state parks and one education center will be taking part, including the one located in Warren County.

National Public Lands Day’s purpose is to, “encourage and salute public contributions in parks, forests and open lands.”

As part of this effort DCNR hosts volunteers who work to improve the facilities we all share in trust.

“Volunteers will have the opportunity to improve state parks by taking part in National Public Lands Day on Saturday, Sept. 28,” DCNR Acting Secretary Ellen Ferretti said. “Each year National Public Lands Day brings together more than 150,000 volunteers across the nation to refurbish and restore public places.”

At Chapman State Park here in Warren County, work will begin at approximately 9 a.m., according to Park Manager Jim McCorkle. The event will run until 3 p.m. and hot dogs and drinks will be provided for lunch.

“We’re hoping for a good turnout,” McCorkle said. “The more the merrier. We definitely rely on volunteers to keep things going around the park.”

McCorkle said this will be the parks third or fourth year participating and there’s plenty to do.

Projects slated for Saturday include preparing the gardens in front of the office for coming cold weather, installing Northern Flying Squirrel Habitats and a search and survey for Hemlock Woolly Adelgids.

“We’ve done one survey and we’re going to do more,” McCorkle said of the invasive species survey. “So we need as many eyes out there as we can get.”

While McCorkle noted those helping with the garden should expect to get dirty, he warned all volunteers should dress appropriately and suggested wearing old clothes.

“Keep in mind, we will be outside,” McCorkle said.