Open Spaces: Everything You Need to Know about National Public Lands Day

Everything You Need to Know about National Public Lands Day

In just over a week, Americans across the country will participate in the largest single-day volunteer event in the country – National Public Lands Day.

When National Public Lands Day started in 1994, about 700 volunteers took part in the event.  Since then, it has  continued to grow.  Last year about 170,000 volunteers worked at over 2,080 sites nationwide.

Volunteering

If you’ve never  heard of the event, or don’t know where you can go to volunteer, don’t worry.  Here’s the information you need to get involved:

Why should I volunteer?

They’re called public lands because they really do belong to all of us in a broad sense.  Taking care of the landscape is important to preserve it for future generations, and it’s always nice to leave something better than how we found it, right? 

Also, September 24th is designated a “fee free” day on many national wildlife refuges and other federal lands.  So get in for free, lend a hand, and then enjoy the rest of the day by participating in all the recreational opportunities the area has to offer!

Do I need to sign up for an event?

In most cases, you can show up for the event listed without signing up.  Because events vary, it’s best to read the information on the specific event you’re planning to attend.  The listings will also give you information if certain types of clothing, like long pants or gloves should be worn, times and contact information.

How do I know what’s going on in my area?

A great resource for events is the National Public Lands Day website.  You can register a site, find an event to participate in, or get more information.

You can also check out what’s going on at refuges and fish hatcheries with our event calendar.  The best part is that it’s not just for National Public Lands Day – check it out for year-round events!

Can my kids get involved?

Of course!  This year’s National Public Lands Day supports the efforts of Let's Move Outside, a program of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let's Move! campaign. By linking parents to nearby parks, refuges, trails and waters, Let’s Move Outside promotes a healthier and more active lifestyle for all family members while benefitting the community.

So many groups are working together to coordinate efforts like federal, state, and local agencies, and nonprofits, and we’re hoping you join us. Let us know where you’re planning on volunteering for National Public Lands Day!

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Last updated: June 21, 2012