Cleanup, races among activities planned at lake

Several cleanup events and races are among the activities planned at Lake Mead National Recreation Area through the end of March.

Here is a list of events:

n Native seed cleaning Feb 15: Help Lake Mead biologists prepare native seeds for future restoration projects from 9 a.m. to noon at the Water Safety Center. Volunteers will help clean seeds by removing the husk and other debris while learning about native plants and the restoration process at the park. The volunteer program is limited to 20 people. To register, contact Christopher Pietrafeso at 702-293-8711 or Christopher_Pietrafeso@nps.gov.

n Free park admission Feb 15-17: To celebrate Presidents Day, the recreation area is offering free entry; this only applies to entrance fees. Fees for camping, lake use or use of concessions still apply. At the Alan Bible Visitor Center, the Western National Parks Association Bookstore will offer a 15 percent discount on one item per purchase on regularly priced bookstore items, such as books, postcards, T-shirts and other gifts. It is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. For more information, call 702-293-8990.

n Mustard Buster March 1: Help park rangers preserve rare and endangered plant species at a remote cove on Lake Mead from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Volunteers will remove invasive Sahara mustard plants to ensure native plants can thrive. Volunteers will meet at 8:30 a.m. at the Callville Bay Marina dock and travel in a boat to Sandy Cove. Volunteers will learn how to identify and hand-pull Sahara mustard. Some bending, stooping and kneeling is required. Participants should bring lunch, water and/or snacks. Volunteers must be able to stay for the entire event. Space is limited to 12 volunteers. To register, contact Christopher Pietrafeso at 702-293-8711 or Christopher_Pietrafeso@nps.gov.

n Valley of Fire Stage Race March 2: As many as 600 bicyclists will race through the recreation area during the race. Visitors may experience delays along Northshore Road from mile marker 46 to 48. For more information, visit www.bikereg.com/Net/21725.

n Cottonwood Cove Eco Walk March 8: Forever Resorts and the National Park Service are co-sponsoring an ecology walk to clean up the desert and roads in the Cottonwood Cove area from 9 a.m. to noon. Volunteers will clean the area from the park boundary (entrance station) along the roadway to the Cottonwood Cove Marina, which is 13 miles east of Searchlight. Lunch will be provided by Forever Resorts. Individuals, families and groups are welcome, but registration is required. Anyone under the age of 18 will need to complete a parental approval form signed by a parent or guardian. For more information or to register for the event, contact Christopher Pietrafeso at 702-293-8711 or Christopher_Pietrafeso@nps.gov.

n Six Tunnels to Hoover Dam St. Patrick’s Day Run March 15: Around 1,000 runners will race through the recreation area during the 14th annual run. The race includes a 1-mile stroll, 5K, half marathon and two-person relay run along the River Mountains Loop and Historic Railroad trails. For more information, visit www.mountainmanevents.com/sixtunnels.htm.

n Lower Colorado River Water Trail Cleanup March 22: Join the Lower Colorado River Water Trail Alliance and the National Park Service to clean up a 3-mile area of the lower Colorado River between 9 a.m. and noon. Volunteers will do a sweep of the Willow Beach area either by canoe/kayak, foot or diving. Registration is limited to the first 50 land volunteers, 50 divers and 50 kayakers. Volunteers will need to register by contacting Nancy Bernard at 702-293-8714 or Nancy_Bernard@nps.gov.

Great American Cleanup March 29: Take part in the 2014 Great American Cleanup from 9 a.m. to noon by volunteering in a litter removal event at Government Wash. Every year, more than 4 million volunteers lend a hand in 20,000-plus communities from coast to coast to participate in cleaning, beautifying and improving quality of life. Individuals, families and groups welcome. Anyone under the age of 18 will need to complete a parental approval form signed by a parent or guardian. For more information or to register for the event, contact Christopher Pietrafeso at 702-293-8711 or Christopher_Pietrafeso@nps.gov.

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