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National Public Lands Day: Yosemite's pretty, but it's also a bit trashed. Want to help clean up?

National Public Lands Day: Yosemite's pretty, but it's also a bit trashed. Want to help clean up?
A classic view of Cathedral Rocks in Yosemite National Park. (Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times)

Happy National Public Lands Day! Saturday marks the day when volunteers are urged to go to a national park or forest (any that charge entrance fees will be free) and give our public lands some love.

Yosemite National Park marks the occasion with a five-day cleanup that started Wednesday. The point is to get as many volunteers as possible to rid the park of trash and debris left behind after the busy summer season.

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Last year, 1,400 volunteers removed almost 15,000 pounds of junk from the park, according to a park statement.

What do you have to do? Just be willing to work along roads, on trails, in camping and lodging areas, and even on climbing routes. (The Yosemite Climbing Assn. co-sponsors this event, now in its 13th year, with the park.)

Volunteers must register to participate. You can sign up at the Valley Visitor Center from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday (park entrance is free that day) and/or 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.

Another registration area is open at the grocery store in Tuolumne Meadows on the park's eastern side during the same hours.

When you sign up, you'll be given gloves, litter sticks and trash bags, which hopefully will be full by the time you return them.

Info: Yosemite National Park, (209) 379-1850

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