Water quality is the focus of the 24th National Public Lands Day volunteer event this Saturday, Sept. 30, in Shenandoah National Park. National Public Lands Day is the nation's largest, singleday volunteer effort for public lands. Shenandoah’s event will be held at Byrd Visitor Center, mile 51 on Skyline Drive. Start time is 9 a.m. Park entrance fees are waived on this special day, which includes:
➤ Water Quality Monitoring Volunteer Event, 9 to 11 a.m. Take part in the EarthEcho World Water Monitoring Challenge, part of an international program that challenges the public to conduct basic water quality testing of local streams. Volunteers meet at the Byrd Visitor Center Auditorium at 9 a.m. for a brief orientation and training. Each will then receive a water quality test kit to conduct surveys on select streams in the park. Volunteers of all ages are welcome but must preregister. Contact the park.
➤ Freshwater Illustrated Films, 11 a.m., Noon, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Freshwater Illustrated develops awardwinning documentary films about freshwater ecosystems. Films, to be shown in the Byrd Visitor Center Auditorium, will include the Last Dragons, Bringing Back the Brooks, and A Deeper Creek. Each film lasts 10 to 15 minutes.
➤ Wild Side of Shenandoah Ranger Talk, 11:30 a.m. Join a park ranger for a talk about the park’s wildlife and the important role the park plays in protecting their habitat. 20 to 30 minutes.
➤ Interpretative Tables & Children’s Activity Table, Noon to 3 p.m. Learn all about streams, their biodiversity, and how to better protect them.
➤ Tour of Water Treatment Facility, 2 p.m. Join park staff for a behind-the-scenes look at the park’s water treatment facility.