National Public Lands Day

Beach Cleanup

National Public Lands Day is September 24, 2016.  That day is the largest single-day volunteer opportunity in the U.S.  Local parks, state parks, National Parks, beaches and all kinds of public lands managers will be hosting volunteers to work on specific projects for that day.

If you have a public lands project that needs volunteers or if you would like to volunteer, head over to the National Environmental Education website.  There project leaders can register their event and volunteers can locate events in their area. While the official date is September 24,  there are events scheduled for days before and after that date, so don’t give up if the 24th is unavailable for you.


Volunteer Activities

What kind of activities are available for your efforts?  Here’s a random list of project types from the currently registered events:Hiking

  • trail bridge building
  • river clean up
  • planting to support bumblebees
  • trail construction
  • planting trees
  • fish habitat restoration
  • invasive plant removal
  • litter pickup
  • repair and install signs
  • removing barbed wire fence
  • cave cleaning
  • painting picnic tables
  • plant native ferns

Trail Bridge ConstructionIf you think you don’t have the skills for some of these efforts,  know that no special skills are required.  By the end of the day you will have acquired some skills and learned something about the behind-the-scenes activities on public lands that most people never see.  In many cases the sponsors will have gloves, tools and whatever else you might need.  Some events offer family education opportunities without any particular work to do.

If you’ve been wanting to donate, but have more time than money, these are all great opportunities to give back.  If you have kids big enough to help,  they are welcome too.  Experiencing this type of outdoor work and the gratification your kids will feel could lead to a lifelong interest in the outdoors and even a career.

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