More than 120 New York State parks, historic sites and public land will be hosting volunteer events this weekend.

It’s part of the 10th Annual I Love My Park Day organized by the statewide non-profit Parks & Trails New York.

The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) say there will be more than 5,000 volunteers of all ages scattered throughout New York State that will spend Saturday, May 1 and Sunday, May 2 working on improvement projects ranging from general park cleanup to beautification efforts.

“We are excited to be hosting this event after having to cancel in 2020. Giving back to our public green spaces is more important than ever as increased use has led to more wear and tear”, said Robin Dropkin, Executive Director of Parks & Trails New York."

Specifically for local Central New Yorkers who are interested, you can find volunteers in a few different locations:

  • Delta Lake State Park in Rome, NY plan picking up litter and trash along the beach and highly suggest bringing a pair of gloves.
  • Verona Beach State Park is also planning on cleaning up the beach and raking up pine needles and leaves.
  • In the Towns of Brookfield and Hamilton in Madison County, they will be focusing on fixing picnic tables, cleaning campsite grounds, repairing nesting boxes and picking up fallen trees at the Charles E. Baker State Forest.

Registration is highly encouraged since COVID-19 guidelines will be put in place including social distancing, bringing your own tools and capacity limits.

Even though the volunteer efforts were cancelled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, New York State welcomed a record 78 million park visitors last year.

LOOK: Stunning vintage photos capture the beauty of America's national parks

Today these parks are located throughout the country in 25 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The land encompassing them was either purchased or donated, though much of it had been inhabited by native people for thousands of years before the founding of the United States. These areas are protected and revered as educational resources about the natural world, and as spaces for exploration.

Keep scrolling for 50 vintage photos that show the beauty of America's national parks.

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