REGION- National Public Lands Day (NPLD), the nation’s largest single-day volunteer event for public lands, will be celebrated across the country on Sat., Sept. 23. It’s also designated as a Fee-Free Day granting free admission for visitors to national forests, parks, refuges and rangelands across the country.
Established in 1994 and held annually on the fourth Saturday in September, this event attracts thousands of volunteers to help restore and improve public lands around the country. With support from federal and state agencies, corporate sponsors, and nonprofits, NPLD encourages volunteering and environmental engagement to sustain natural spaces for generations to come.
What started with one federal agency, two public land sites and 700 volunteers, has grown into a national event. NPLD brings out hundreds of thousands of volunteers at sites in all 50 states and U.S. territories. Between 1972 and 2021, more than 3.3 million people provided 141.1 million volunteer hours alongside Forest Service units, and provided services valued at $1.86 billion. In 2022 alone, 85,676 volunteers donated 3.6 million hours of their time on public lands, estimated at over $110 million in value. This year’s theme is 30 Years of Care and Community.
From trail maintenance to tree and plug planting, trash pick-up and more, volunteers of all ages and abilities roll up their sleeves and work side-by-side. NPLD is a chance to connect with new communities. It’s an event that creates kinship among those working together for a common goal, and an opportunity to use America’s public lands for education, recreation, and overall physical and mental health.
Visit https://www.neefusa.org/national-public-lands-day to learn more about how you can get involved