National Public Lands Day Stewardship

Saturday, September 22nd was National Public Lands Day.

We got up early Saturday morning to volunteer for a stewardship event on National Public Lands Day.  My family and I signed up on the REI website a couple of weeks earlier for this stewardship.  REI Outreach and The Ice Age Trail Alliance were hosting a group of volunteers to help rid a portion of the IAT of an invasive species, buckthorn.

Ice Age Wetland Sign

What is Buckthorn?

Buckthorn is an invasive shrub or small tree.  It grows longer and adapts to more environments than most native plants.  It steals the light from seedlings, making it difficult for them to grow.  Buckthorn also produces a chemical that inhibits the growth of other plants.

Stewardship group photo

A group of approximately 35 volunteers arrived at the Harland Marsh portion of the IAT that Saturday morning.

volunteers clearing buckthorn

In teams of two, everyone worked together to cut, saw and pile up buckthorn.

Buckthorn Blaster Bottle

Then in hopes of stopping future regrowth, buckthorn blaster was applied to the stumps of everything that was cut down.

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I am amazed at the difference, two hours and a group of volunteers working together can make.  This is the first time we have volunteered for such an event.  It was a very rewarding experience, and I am looking forward to doing this again.

Ranger point at buckthorn

The ranger point of the week is at a pile of buckthorn I helped to clear.

When spending time outdoors always be respectful of nature, use common sense and please follow any posted rules.

Always give more than you take and leave no trace. 

Thank you for reading!  Have a great day!!

If you have any comments please share them below


  1. This is great! I’d noticed on Hopewell Furnace’s site that they’d had sign ups for volunteer projects for the Sept 22nd, but I hadn’t had time to check anything closer to me. I’ll have to look at REI’s website!


    1. REI is one my favorite stores. It’s like a toy store for outdoor people. They have some great classes they offer and stewardship opportunities. I will definitely be signing up for more. Thank you for reading.


    1. It was a great experience 🙂 thank you for reading


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