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Volunteers perform trail maintenance in Kalispell for National Public Lands Day

National Public Lands Day Screen Shot 2022-09-24 at 3.28.31 PM.png
Posted at 3:48 PM, Sep 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-24 17:54:13-04

KALISPELL - As summer is ending the trails around the nation are showing wear and tear.

Volunteers put on their gloves and put in some sweat equity to improve and clean up the trails for National Public Lands Day on the fourth Saturday in September.

“It’s just kind of a celebration of this land being all of ours,” said volunteer Robert Vargas who is part of the Montana Conservation Corps.

Volunteers gathered to do trail maintenance at Lone Pine State Park and Herron Park in Kalispell on Saturday, working to trim back foliage and to spruce up the trails.

“Everyone loves to recreate, especially here in Montana. So it's important to kind of give back your time and give back some, like, sweat equity, I would say, back to the parks that provide a place to recreate,” said Lone Pine State Park AmeriCorps Trail Specialist John Murphy.

National Public Lands Day was established in 1994 and is traditionally the nation's largest single-day volunteer effort.

“A lot of people enjoy these trails and if just some of those people who enjoyed the trails, just like us, came and helped out even just for a couple hours like we did today. We could get a lot of work done as a community,” said Vargas.

It’s a lot of hard work to help maintain the trails and the volunteers were rewarded with a BBQ lunch as well as the feeling of doing something good for the community.

“To like, look back at the trail you just dug and you could say we did that. To be able to like see the product of your work immediately and be proud of that and feel like you have kind of a purpose her. And when you're done with the day, you look back and say fulfilled my purpose,” said Vargas.