National Trails Day celebrated Saturday

MANSFIELD -- Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center will celebrate National Trails Day from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday with several events that are open to the public.

The day will begin with a volunteer trail service day, where participants will join in improving the trails at the center, including trash pickup and debris removal.

"We have a limited tool bank, so please bring any trail tools that you can provide," said Jody Rice, training and development specialist with the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center. Participants are asked to bring any of the following tools: bow rakes, gloves, bow saws, clippers, trash pickers, crow bars, hammers, batter drill guns.

Participants should also bring sun block, insect repellent, lunch and water.

Later, a discussion with biologists and a screening of a documentary film about conservationist Aldo Leopold and his environmental legacy will take place, Rice said.

To pre-register, call 770-784-3059 by the end of the day today. There is no charge to participate.

"It's giving back to the community. By investing in these projects and programs, you are providing new recreational and environmental opportunities for the public and for youth to have a meaningful experience in the outdoors," Rice said.

Sponsored by the American Hiking Society, National Trails Day evolved from the report of President Ronald Reagan's President's Commission on Americans Outdoors. In 1987, the report recommended that all Americans be able to go out their front doors and within 15 minutes, be on trails that wind through their cities or towns and bring them back without retracing steps. The recommendation, dubbed Trails for All Americans, became the impetus behind several public and private parties joining the American Hiking Society in launching National Trails Day in 1993. There are 200,000 miles of trails throughout the country.