By Alicia Dziak

May 3 marks the third annual I Love My Park Day, a volunteer day held at state parks across New York State.

Last year, thousands of volunteers gathered at 80 parks and historic sites to take part in dozens of cleanup, improvement and beautification projects.

Organized by Parks & Trails New York, in partnership with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, I Love My Park Day aims to boost volunteerism and raise the visibility of the entire state parks system and its needs.

Sign up now to help out at Allegany State Park, for a well-organized and fun day of helping maintain its 65,000 acres of natural beauty in the Enchanted Mountains.

Last year, almost 50 volunteers gathered on the Red House side of ASP to participate in the event. Volunteers picked up litter around the lake, throughout the picnic areas, on cabin trails, and at Thunder Rocks.  Shrubs were pruned back around the lake, the bike path was swept clean of debris, and the memorial benches received a new layer of clear coat. In addition, volunteers worked at Group Camp 12, ASP’s oldest in-service group camp, by giving several of the cabins a fresh coat of paint, picking up litter and pruning back some of the shrubs around the cabins.

Like last year, this year’s I Love My Park Day will be held in conjunction with Friends of Allegany State Park’s (FOASP) monthly workday, their first of the season. The group meets the first Saturday of each month, May through October, to tackle various projects throughout the park. Like FOASP’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/FriendsOfAlleganyStatePark) to learn about all they do and when they meet.

I Love My Park Day is a great way for people of all ages to support New York’s fantastic parks by giving only a few hours of their time. It’s a perfect opportunity to get out, get some fresh air and give back! For more information, or to register, visit www.ptny.org.