So What is it?
National Public Lands Day is our nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort. Created in 1994, it is held annually on the 4th Saturday of September. Coordinated by the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF), hundreds of thousands of individual and organizational volunteers come together to help restore our country’s public lands. These public lands include our national, state and city parks, national and state forests, monuments, marine sanctuaries as well as lakes and reservoirs. Admission fees will be waived at all national parks that charge admission on National Public Lands Day. This collective effort ensures that these spaces can be enjoyed by generations to come.
How Can I get Involved?
It isn't hard and doesn't take much to make a difference. While there are many organized events across the country, the easiest way to contribute is TAKE A HIKE! Head out to your favorite park or trail with a small, medium or large trash bag and pick up rubbish along the way. Nothing is worse than enjoying our favorite trails and seeing trash on the ground. This is a great way for individuals and families to take a break from our busy schedules to help contribute to the the natural beauty of our parks and public lands.
Another way to contribute to National Public lands day is grab a few friends or family members and plant a few trees. Now, I’m not saying go dig a hole in the middle of a field at your local park and drop a tree in there. Check with your local land management agency first to see if there are any parks nearby that you can plant a few saplings at. Ask them if there is a specific area of the park that needs attention. Maybe a few flower beds need some weeding or maybe there are some overgrown invasive plants that need to be removed. If we all pitch in a little effort can go a long way.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
For all of you locals, there is a lot going on this weekend to contribute to National Public Lands Day.
The Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park has a scheduled event for September 29th from 10:00am - 1:00pm. Volunteers will be planting native trees within the park. By planting trees, it will restore the natural habitat of the park and benefit both the environment and the community. Volunteers will use shovels to dig holes for native trees, hammer in stakes beside newly planted trees, and cover trees with deer tubes for protection. Volunteers must be able to hike up to 2 miles over uneven terrain. All volunteers must pre-register with the conservancy ahead of time. Registration can be found here. Volunteers ages 7-15 must have parent or guardian supervision at the project site. Volunteers who are 16-18 years old are only required to have a parent or guardian sign their Volunteer Agreement form.
Don’t forget to share your work and experience on social media using the hashtags, #NPSVolunteer, #FindYourPark and #NPLD! Hope to see you all out on the trails this National Public Lands Day!