Get Out! Enjoy Public Lands Day, Sept. 26

Sylvania Wilderness Area, Michigan. Photo by Jeff Rennicke, Flickr.

Fall is officially here. Summer’s sticky afternoons are being replaced by crisp autumnal breezes, and fresh cider greets you after an afternoon walk in the woods. What’s not to like?

Earlier this month President Obama declared September Wilderness Month, and called for Americans to get outside and enjoy our treasured landscapes. If you have yet to do so, there’s still time — and this weekend is a perfect opportunity. Why? Saturday, Sept. 26 is Public Lands Day.

If you didn’t grow up celebrating Public Lands Day with your friends and family, don’t worry- nobody did (it started in 1994). But you can make up for lost time by checking out various opportunities close to home (or far away if you’re up for a road trip) to get outside, enjoy some time with friends new and old, and even participate in some restoration work (as low-key or physically strenuous as you like). For those heading out for an overnight under the stars, check out some good tips for “green camping ”.

J.P. LeousHere’s a little known factoid about your public lands: National wildlife refuges — 550 of them — are an affordable travel destination within reach of every American family. Refuges can be found in all 50 states, and most of them are less than an hour’s drive from a major American city. Whether you are a bird watcher, photographer, hiker, or just like to sit outside and read, you will enjoy the brief respite from urban (or suburban) life.

Whatever you end up doing, take a moment to reflect on these special places and all they provide us. And then get your game face on—because we are expecting the climate debate to ramp up soon (we may see a bill from the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee early next week), and we’ll need your full support!

Watch our interview about public lands and national parks with documentary film maker Ken Burns!

photo: Sylvania Wilderness Area, Michigan. Photo by Jeff Rennicke, Flickr.