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Buffumville has big plans for volunteers

Public Lands Day just in time to clean up after storms

National Public Lands Day will be held Saturday, Sept. 24, and at Buffumville Lake and Hodges Village Dam, volunteers are set to come help spruce up the property. (click for larger version)
September 15, 2011
CHARLTON — As park rangers at Buffumville Lake and Hodges Village Dam gear up for this year’s annual National Public Lands Day, which falls on Saturday, Sept. 24, they’re coming up with quite the long to-do list.

The past year’s extreme weather events, including ice, snow, heavy rains, and hurricane-force winds, have left a lot of cleanup work to be done at the lake, Hodges Village Dam, and its surrounding 1,500 acres — work that has been difficult for the mere four-person staff that maintains the area.

“We can’t keep up with it,” said ranger Jane Hixson. She said that between managing the basin flood levels, maintaining recreation areas and the natural habitat, and completing mountains of government paperwork, “we can’t do it all.”

That’s why the staff at Buffumville Lake counts on the support of the hundreds of volunteers every year who donate their time on a Saturday in September.

Last year, 170,000 volunteers gave their services at more than 2,000 parks across the country on National Public Lands Day. Declared in 1994, it is the nation’s largest single-day volunteer event for public lands.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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