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Volunteers invited to come celebrate National Public Lands Day on Sept. 24

​SARASOTA COUNTY - Sarasota County has thousands of acres of land available to the public for hiking, exploration, passive recreation and other activities. These lands are also home to hundreds of protected and endangered species of animals and plants. On Saturday, Sept. 24, Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources staff will host a volunteer event honoring the 23rd Annual National Public Lands Day from 9 a.m. to noon at Pinecraft Park, 1420 Gilbert Ave., Sarasota.

To participate in this event, volunteers should register in advance by contacting Deborah Zeilman at or 941-320-2302. Space for this event is limited to 40 volunteers.

Volunteers are encouraged to bring loppers or hand pruners, work gloves, a hat, sunglasses, water, bug spray and sunscreen. It is recommended to wear closed-toe, closed-heel shoes, such as hiking boots or sneakers.

"This event is an excellent opportunity for volunteers to be stewards of their local park by helping staff by removing exotic plants, enhancing the habitat and the park's features," said Ray Vinson, parks and recreation specialist.

Staff will work with volunteers to improve the park by exotic plant pulling, pruning and removal of any litter.

National Public Lands Day is the nation's largest hands-on volunteer effort to improve and enhance America's public lands. Last year, more than 170,000 volunteers nationwide built trails and bridges, planted trees and plants and removed trash and invasive plants. This effort contributed an estimated $17 million to improve public lands across the country.

For more information, call the Sarasota County Contact Center at 941-861-5000.