Volunteers will gather rakes, shovels, and trash bags to help improve U.S. public lands for the 26th annual National Public Lands Day (NPLD) on Saturday, September 28. You can join in and help maintain trails, clean up parks and rivers, plant trees, remove invasive species, and participate in hikes and other fun activities at parks throughout the country.
The day is a fee-free day for all national parks as well as many state and local parks.
“Volunteers are absolutely vital to parks across the country,” says National Environmental Education Foundation President and CEO Meri-Margaret Deoudes. “National Public Lands Day connects people to nature through service. It is the perfect opportunity to care for our public lands while spending time with family and friends and taking advantage of all the benefits that come from spending time outdoors.”
National Public Lands Day Events
Forty-nine states will host events in local, state, and battlefield parks and many of our beloved national parks. The following is just a sample of events across the country.
Yosemite National Park
The annual Facelift at Yosemite is one of the largest events, expected to attract 2,000 volunteers for a park-wide clean-up. Organized by the Yosemite National Park Volunteer Office and the Yosemite Climbing Association, Facelift attracts climbers from all over the world who want to help maintain this premier climbing spot. Athletes from The North Face and Black Diamond will team up with the Yosemite Climbing Stewards and Climbing Management Team to rappel and remove trash left on ledges on El Capitan and Mount Watkins.
Dog Beach in San Diego
At the San Diego River Mouth near Dog Beach in Ocean Beach, volunteers can help restore one of the last remaining coastal dunes and wetland habitats in California. Volunteers will remove invasive plants, water and care for recent plantings, refurbish trails, and work on a garden art project.
Mount Rainier National Park
More than 1.5 million people visit Mount Rainier between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Park staff rely on NPLD volunteers to help refurbish the park’s 260 miles of trails and restore meadowlands.
At the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, NPLD volunteers will work with Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service staff to construct a one-half-mile trail around Pakoon Springs.
Everglades National Park
NPLD volunteers will get close to the soil while tending to the native plant gardens and grounds of the Gulf Coast Visitor Center.
At least one beach in each of the 15 towns comprising Cape Cod will host an All-Cape Beach Cleanup. Approximately 1,000 volunteers are expected.
El Yunque National Forest
The El Yunque National Forest in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, is the only tropical rainforest in the national forest system. It’s also one of the most biologically diverse. NPLD volunteers will spend the day refurbishing the El Toro Trail, which was badly damaged by hurricanes Irma and Maria. Dozens of elementary and intermediate school students are expected to be among the volunteers.
Find an NPLD Event Near You
You can participate and spend the day volunteering on public land. With 1,000 activities planned throughout the country, there are ample opportunities to join the NPLD celebration. Participating federal sites reward volunteers with a coupon good for a free entry to any public land managed by one of the NPLD federal partners. It can be used any time before National Public Lands Day 2020.
Find an event near you using NEEF’s interactive map. Just enter your ZIP code and search. NEEF will add more events to the map throughout the month.
About National Public Lands Day
National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort for U.S. public lands. The National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) leads the event, with support from NPLD national corporate sponsor Toyota, seven federal agency partners, hundreds of state and local partners, and dozens of nonprofit organizations. Organizers say NPLD volunteers contributed an estimated $11 million worth of services to public lands during last year’s NPLD celebration.
“The National Park Service is proud to partner with NEEF for another successful National Public Lands Day, which brings people and communities together. The work completed by volunteers at NPS sites across the country help ensure that Americans of all ages and abilities can connect with our public lands for recreation, education, and community-building — now and in the future,” says Lenny Teh, program manager, Service-wide Volunteers-In-Parks, National Park Service.