All federal public lands and many state parks offer free entry on National Public Lands Day.
Credit: Eric Parker, flickr.
Organized by the non-profit National Environmental Education Foundation, National Public Lands Day falls on the last Saturday of each September. Established in 1994, it is a chance to celebrate our national parks and monuments, national wildlife refuges and all of the other cherished public places that belong to all Americans.
In 2016, this day takes on a renewed significance, both because of the National Park Service's centennial celebration and the anti-conservationist "land takeover" movement that aims to seize "Our Wild" from the people. These are reminders of the enduring legacy of public lands in our country, and that we must be vigilant in keeping them public and well-preserved.
Read on for a couple things you can do on Saturday.
How to celebrate National Public Lands Day:
Visit a park: Admission to all national parks around the country will be FREE on Saturday, providing a great opportunity to get outside and celebrate our shared national treasures. Whether it’s hiking, fishing, birdwatching or even finding a quiet place to relax in a hammock, this is a day to get out and show your appreciation for public lands.
Volunteer to help the lands you love: The best way to celebrate National Public Lands Day is to partake in one of the many volunteer projects hosted around the country to help keep our public lands healthy and thriving. These events include everything from cleaning up trash in Yosemite National Park to helping to restore monarch butterfly habitat at Shenandoah National Park
It’s easy to get involved no matter where you live, and there are opportunities for all skills and abilities.
Help keep #OurWild public for all: Last but not least, take a moment to join The Wilderness Society's #OurWild campaign. Parks, forests, refuges and other wildlands belong to all Americans and are a national source of pride. Some fringe interests at the local and national level are attempting to undermine that connection, but we are determined to repel that movement. You can help by contacting lawmakers or spreading the word: #OurWild must remain public for all.
Volunteers tackle trail work at Mount Rainier National Park (Washington) on National Public Lands Day. Credit: Kevin Bacher (NPS), flickr.