CAMP RIPLEY -- About 30 students from Doug Ploof's forestry class at Little Falls Community High School ventured to the south side of Ferrell Lake at Camp Ripley to improve the 1,400-foot nature trail and install a bog walk over the adjacent wetland.
This effort was part of the eighth annual National Public Lands Day, when volunteers pitch in to help improve America's 700 million acres of public lands.
On a picture-perfect, sunny and warm, early autumn Thursday, Sept. 27, the young men and women used shovels, rakes and wheelbarrows to spread wood chips and donned chest waders to put the bog walk in place.
Josh Davidson, 10, an elementary school student from Baxter, said, "It's awesome. It's nice helping other people."
Little Falls Community High School forestry class students installed a boardwalk over a bog on Ferrell Lake at Camp Ripley as part of this year's National Public Lands Day effort. (Photos by Master Sgt. Charles Farrow)
The 208-foot bog walk was purchased from Newman's Manufacturing of Royalton, and student volunteers assembled and installed it with help from Jeff Deering of Newman's.
The Little Falls students were part of nearly 50,000 volunteers at 270 sites in all 50 states and Puerto Rico who volunteered their time and energy in a partnership between the public sector and the local community to help restore and enhance America's public lands.
"Under the leadership of Doug Ploof, the students from LFCHS have been instrumental in accomplishing a variety of natural resource projects at Camp Ripley. This relationship has proven invaluable to Camp Ripley's Environmental Office and very rewarding to the students in terms of an outdoor learning experience," said Marty Skoglund, environmental supervisor for Camp Ripley.
One third of the nation's land is public, and this year more than 50,000 NPLD volunteers provided more than $8 million in needed improvements.
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