More than 3000 visitors and 60 volunteers celebrated National Public Lands Day at Blue Marsh Lake Sept. 29-30 with hikes, tours and a number of cleanup and repair projects.
National Public Lands Day, held annually in September, showcases public lands and the importance of protecting natural resources through responsible use and volunteerism. Blue Marsh Lake and other U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recreation sites celebrated the event by organizing volunteer projects and waiving day use fees.
Volunteer groups joined Blue Marsh Lake Rangers in repairing the Crane Creek Bridge; cleaning up and clearing debris from trails and day use areas; repairing eroded areas; and replacing Blue Bird boxes. Volunteer groups included the Cub Scouts of America, Middle Creek Search and Rescue, Berks County Geo Cache Club, Pagoda Pacers, Albright College, and Kutztown University. Volunteers collected 44 bags of trash and debris from sites.
“We were impressed by the amount of work accomplished and the spirit of our volunteerism,” said John Cave, Blue Marsh Lake Natural Resources Manager. Cave estimated volunteers provided approximately $5000 of services throughout the day.
Day use fees at the Dry Brooks Day Use Area, Dry Brooks Boat Launch and State Hill Boat Launch were waived for the weekend. Other activities included a biking tour, a dam control tower tour, and the opening of the Tulpehocken Creek Valley Geo Trail. The trail, the result of a partnership between Berks County Parks and Blue Marsh Lake, is a geocaching interpretive trail along the scenic Tulpehocken Creek.
Blue Marsh Lake receives approximately 1 million visitors a year. It has more than 36 miles of trails, 1,147 acres of water surface, picnic areas, a beach and three boat launches.