Foscue Park, rivers need volunteers

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 7, 2004

DEMOPOLIS – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has designated Demopolis’ Foscue Park a target.

Not particularly for terrorists, but for volunteers.

The park on Lock and Dam Road, along with the Black Warrior and Tombigbee Rivers will be spruced up as Demopolis-area residents join the largest annual coast-to-coast, single-day volunteer restoration effort for America’s public lands.

Local volunteers from Alabama Power, Borden Chemical, University of West Alabama, Demopolis High School, Girl and Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Lion’s Club, and the community will roll up their sleeves and devote their day to develop an environmental interpretive trail, shoreline cleanup, litter cleanup, erecting wood duck and songbird nesting boxes, and planting wildlife food plots at Foscue Park as part of the 11th annual National Public Lands Day (NPLD) on Saturday, October 9, said Ryan Basinger, who helps manage Corps parks and lands from its Demopolis office.

Sponsored for the sixth consecutive year by Toyota Motor Sales USA, NPLD gives Americans an opportunity to give back to the very lands they use to hike, bike, climb, swim, explore, picnic or just plain relax, he said.

“Thousands of volunteers, including those in Demopolis, will prove on National Public Lands Day how much they care about their irreplaceable public places,” said Patti Pride, director of National Public Lands Day. “Each year, more and more Americans come out to lend a hand on this special Saturday in September, and we invite all of you to join us.”

This year, for the first time, volunteers who work at a site managed by any of five federal agencies will be rewarded with a free entry day during the next year at any public land site managed by those agencies: Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, US Army Corps of Engineers, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and USDA Forest Service.

By educating volunteers at sites across the country, NPLD maintains the legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps, an army of 3 million Americans who in the 1930’s countered the devastation of the Dust Bowl and the American chestnut blight by planting more than 3 billion trees, building 800 state parks, and fighting forest fires.