SEBRING - Highlands Hammock State Park is calling for volunteers to help with two projects during National Public Lands Day from 9 a.m. to noon Sept. 28.
The first project will be the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Ridge Rangers initiative to remove sand pines in a major scrub jay habitat restoration project.
The objective is to clear overgrown pines and return the acreage to oak scrub. Completing this restoration will expand endangered scrub jay territory and increase the numbers of breeding pairs. Cutting down sand pines requires moderate to heavy exertion.
Groups and individuals may register at http://outreach.myfwc.com/event/NPLD2013HHSP. Visit myfwc.com/ridgerangers for a complete list of Ridge Ranger events from Lake Louisa State Park in the north to Archbold Biological Station in the south.
The second project will be trail maintenance, which will require light to moderate in exertion. Volunteers can trim protruding vegetation and overhanging vines from park trails. Trails are currently in need of maintenance after the onslaught of heavy summer rains.
For information or to sign up, call 471-5324 or go online to www.publiclandsday.org/npld-sites/highlands-hammock-state-park-1.
Scout troops earning badges and school clubs or students requiring community service hours are welcome to register as groups or individuals.
Volunteers should register by Sept. 26. Wear sturdy shoes and protective clothing, such as long pants, long sleeves and a hat.
Bring work gloves, sunscreen, mosquito repellent and sunglasses.
Drinking water and equipment will be provided, but additional loppers, brush cutters and hand saws from home will be helpful.
Bring a hiker's water bottle to keep refills at hand. Light refreshments courtesy the Friends of Highlands Hammock State Park will be provided afterward, so please register in advance.