Give Back to Those Lands and Waters on National Public Lands Day
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When you hear us say, “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages nearly 100 million land acres and 755 million marine acres,” the key word is managed.

The world-class national wildlife refuges and national fish hatcheries that we run are your lands.

And Saturday, September 24, 2022, offers you the opportunity to give back to those lands: Saturday marks the annual National Public Lands Day.

Throughout the country, national wildlife refuges and national fish hatcheries, and all public lands, are planning cleanups to make the lands look their best and give the critters there the best home possible. Many facilities also have festivals and fun to help you get the most out of the outdoors.

Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma has an event for all you competitive sorts: Treasures for the Trash! Teams can win prizes for Most Trash Collected and more.

At Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge in California, we’ll help restore coastal dune habitat at the Ma-le’l Dunes Unit by removing invasive, non-native yellow bush lupine.

Need something more low-key?

Engage in a low-stress activity at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge in Colorado. We'll be collecting native seeds for our restoration efforts. "I find this so relaxing," one seed collector a few years ago said.

We’ll also be hand-harvesting ripe prairie seeds to use in the greenhouse and for restoration projects next year at the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center at Fergus Falls Wetland Management District in Minnesota.

It’s not all work either.

Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia does plan a beach cleanup to remove trash and debris that washes in from the ocean.

But Back Bay is also holding a BioBlitz that day to identify the many organisms that call the refuge home.

Willapa National Wildlife Refuge in Washington has a Nature Play Day planned. Just head to downtown Long Beach to play some games, learn to move like a bird, and more.

And major urban refuges like Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge (near New York City) and John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum (in Philadelphia) are throwing fall festivals as the season starts to change.

It doesn’t have to be just that Saturday either.

Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery in Kentucky keeps the fun going with Catch A Smile Senior Fishing Derby on Tuesday, September 27.

You can always visit a national wildlife refuge national wildlife refuge
A national wildlife refuge is typically a contiguous area of land and water managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  for the conservation and, where appropriate, restoration of fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.

Learn more about national wildlife refuge
, national fish hatchery, and other public lands. Find your nearest national wildlife refuge or national fish hatchery

Volunteers collect seed for prairie restoration at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge in November 2019.

And volunteer opportunities on public lands don’t disappear after National Public Lands Day. Discover opportunities across America at nearby national wildlife refuges or hatcheries. is your go-to resource for volunteer openings on federal public lands. 

Don’t forget, National Wildlife Refuge Week is also coming up, October 9-15! Check out all upcoming Refuge Week events.

These lands are yours. Get the most out of them.

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Fish hatcheries
Wildlife refuges