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(Cherry Hill, N.J.) – Cherry Hill residents are ready to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty in the name of keeping our community clean and preserving local open space on National Public Lands Day, next Saturday, Sept. 28.
Led by members of the Cherry Hill Environmental Board, volunteers from across the Township will converge upon historic Croft Farm from 9 a.m. to noon to participate in this nationwide day of outdoor civic service to help beautify Cherry Hill’s parks, playgrounds and public lands.
Planned projects include improvements along the Croft Farm and Kresson Trails, and water sampling along the Cooper River as part of World Water Monitoring Day. This year, Cherry Hill is also taking part in Cooper River Fest, a joint effort by the municipalities along the Cooper River watershed.
“National Public Lands Day is an opportunity for all residents to share in the stewardship of Cherry Hill’s open space, and to help nurture and protect our local environment and natural resources,” said Mayor Chuck Cahn.
Now celebrating its 20th year, National Public Lands Day began in 1994 as a three-site, 700-volunteer event and has ballooned into the nation’s largest one-day volunteer effort for public lands. Last year’s event drew about 175,000 volunteers across 2,200 sites.
Cherry Hill joined NPLD in 2006, and remains one of just a handful of New Jersey municipalities to participate each year. The Township is home to 52 public parks and playgrounds, and a network of nature and recreational trails that span approximately 10 miles.
While the Township’s efforts will focus on the Croft Farm area, officials encourage residents to organize activities in their own neighborhoods on Saturday. The Township can supply some clean-up materials, including trash bags, to interested individuals or groups.
“The more hands we have on deck, the broader our reach will be this Public Lands Day – and the greater the impact will be on our community,” Cahn said. “There are countless volunteers who work throughout the year to improve these shared spaces, and I hope our efforts will inspire others to come forward to help keep Cherry Hill clean and green.”
Registration for the Sept. 28 event is preferred, but not mandatory. Volunteers should dress comfortably, wear sneakers or work boots, and bring work gloves, if they have them.
To register to participate at Croft, or to inquire about organizing your own effort, please e-mail Recreation@chtownship.com or call (856) 488-7868.