Volunteers Sought for National Public Lands Day

Volunteers Sought for National Public Lands Day Event at Dripping Springs Natural Area

Volunteers from Las Cruces and the surrounding communities are invited to participate in this year’s National Public Lands Day (NPLD) event on Saturday, September 24, 2016.  The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Las Cruces District is hosting several activities at the Dripping Springs Natural Area, including gardening, trash clean up and trail maintenance.

The event will be held from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.  BLM staff will meet the volunteers at the Dripping Springs Visitor Area located at the end of Dripping Springs Road in the Organ Mountains foothills.  According to McKinney Briske, BLM outdoor recreation planner, “we’re hoping to get a great volunteer turnout to do some gardening around the visitor center; trail work on the Arroyo Trail; and trash clean up around the picnic area”.  A barbecue lunch will follow the conclusion of the volunteer activities at noon.

Along with the hands-on activities, there will also be informational booths set up for the volunteers to enjoy, including the Friends of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, Leave No Trace Travelling Trainers, Southwest Consolidated and Doña Ana Sportsmen Associations, Turkey and Mule Deer Federations and the BLM.   Volunteers will get an opportunity to learn what these organizations have to offer or just take time to explore the visitor center and/or hike the various trails in the Dripping Springs Natural Area.

Tools, gloves and eye protection will be provided.  Volunteers should wear clothes suitable for outdoor work, including sturdy closed-toed shoes.  Hats and sunscreen are strongly recommended.

Anyone interested can sign up by calling the BLM Las Cruces District at (575) 525-4300, or just show up on Saturday morning.

Also on Friday, September 23, 2016, the Friends of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks are hosting an “Artist-in-Residence Paint Along Program” from 5 to 7 p.m. at the La Cueva Picnic Area at Dripping Springs.  Kayla Blundell, the 2016 Fall Artist-in-Residence will share her talent and enthusiasm for the Monument’s nature and landscapes through this artistic expression.  To RSVP for this Friends’ activity, email your name to info@organmtnfriends.org.  A limited number of spots are open to the public; and the supplies are provided at cost.

All volunteers, individuals and families, are encouraged to participate in the national’s largest single-day event focused on improving public lands through volunteerism.  Celebrating its 23rd year, the NPLD campaign is sponsored by the National Environmental Education Foundation in coordination with local, state and federal agencies like BLM and other organizations.

In addition to the NPLD campaign, BLM also supports the Every Kid In A Park and invites all fourth grade students to go to www.everykidinapark.gov and print their year-long pass to access all Federal land management areas for free, including Dripping Springs and Aguirre Springs Recreation Area and Campground – just to name a few.

This year’s NPLD events coincide with special observances for the BLM.  The agency celebrates its 70th birthday in October, and also observes the 40th anniversary of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, a federal law that provided direction for the BLM to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.


The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.