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300 U of M Extension volunteers expected to participate in National Public Lands Day

Media Contacts: Catherine Dehdashti, Extension PR manager, 612-625-0237,; Emily Dombeck, Extension forestry program coordinator, 612-624-6709,
group of people examining and taking notes in long grass

St. Paul, Minn. (09/21/2017)—University of Minnesota Extension’s Master Naturalist Program will lead service opportunities at 12 locations throughout the state for National Public Lands Day on Sept. 30. An annual day of service held across the country, National Public Lands Day is the largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands.

Last year, 319 volunteers provided over 1,600 hours of service. In addition to the environmental impact of their work, these volunteers find that their service has many other positive outcomes.

“We know that people really enjoy their leisure time in parks and natural areas,” said Santiago Pelaez. “But being out there and actually participating in the care of the land can really give someone a new appreciation for it. You really feel a sense of ownership and pride.” Pelaez, a Conservation Corp intern with the Master Naturalist program, is leading prairie restoration efforts at one of this year’s sites.

Volunteers will help with an array of efforts, including pulling buckthorn, planting native vegetation, installing trail markers, collecting seeds and leading wildlife interpretation sessions. Opportunities are available for all ages and ability levels to contribute.

You don’t need to be a current Master Naturalist volunteer to sign up. If you are interested in contributing to the care of a place that is special to you, you can learn more about the available locations and register at through Sept. 28.

For more information about National Public Lands Day service opportunities or questions about registration, contact Santiago Pelaez at


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