What are you doing for National Public Lands Day? On September 24, nature lovers from across the country head for their top parks, trails, and preserves to celebrate our favorite holiday. National Public Lands Day is an opportunity for everyone to explore new places, learn about our national treasures, and most importantly, give back through hundreds of volunteer events nationwide.
National Public Lands Day launched in 1994, and it’s become the country’s largest single-day volunteer event. Hundreds of thousands of people participate in projects ranging from cleanups in neighborhood city parks to ecosystem restoration in the national parks. The nonprofit National Environmental Education Foundation organizes the event in partnership with federal land management agencies like the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service—but plenty of local, state, and regional public-lands stakeholders get involved, too. And the day has become a big deal. Over the past 10 years, 1 million volunteers have contributed 5 million volunteer-hours, performing $133 million worth of work to improve and protect these special places.
Ready to join? Here are five great ideas for celebrating National Public Lands Day in your own way.
National Public Lands Day is all about appreciating and enjoying our public spaces—so get out there and have some fun! To mark the occasion, admission to all National Park Service sites (and some other sites, too) is free for the day. What better excuse to visit one of these crown jewels of the public land system? Take a hike at Yosemite, linger over a picnic at Cuyahoga, paddle a kayak in the Everglades, ride your bike at Grand Teton, tour Gettysburg—the list goes on and on.
Broadcast your love for public lands by sharing photos of how you’re celebrating the day using the official hashtag #NPLD. You never know who you’ll inspire.