On Saturday, September 24, the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF), in collaboration with federal, state, and nonprofit partners, will present the 29th annual National Public Lands Day (NPLD) celebration—the largest single-day volunteer event for America's public lands.
Over the last decade, more than one million volunteers have donated nearly 5 million hours of their time for public lands on National Public Lands Day, worth an estimated $133 million. Typical NPLD events include a mix of volunteer, education, health, and recreation activities taking place on public lands all over the country, from state and local parks to land managed by federal agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, and USDA Forest Service.
"Our partnership with NEEF on this day of service helps us introduce people to national parks and the recreational, inspirational and educational benefits they provide," said Shari Orr, National Park Service Volunteer Program Manager
The theme for this year's NPLD celebration is “Giving Back Together,” in honor of the role America's public lands play in bringing people together for recreation, socialization, and stewardship.
“During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, our country's public lands acted as a safe haven for all Americans to gather with their friends and families,” said Meri-Margaret Deoudes, president and CEO of NEEF. “NPLD gives us an opportunity to return the favor. Along with our state and federal partners, we invite the public to join us in giving back to these spaces that have played such an important role in our lives.”
Over 500 volunteer events throughout the country
With over 500 nationwide volunteer events currently registered on NEEF's website—and more being added each day—there will be no shortage of opportunities for the thousands of expected volunteers to roll up their sleeves and pitch in on improvement projects in their communities.
“The Bureau of Land Management encourages all Americans to do their part to conserve and restore public lands, protect biodiversity, and address climate change,” said Derrick Baldwin, National Volunteer Program Lead at Bureau of Land Management. “National Public Lands Day will see more than 7,000 volunteers, at 117 events, performing public service and the hard work the BLM needs done to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of America's public lands.”
NPLD is also designated as a Fee-Free Day, granting free admission for visitors at all national parks, as well as sites managed by the Bureau of Land Management, USDA Forest Service, US Army Corps of Engineers, and other participating federal agencies.
"The Bureau of Land Management encourages all Americans to do their part to conserve and restore public lands, protect biodiversity, and address climate change," said Derrick Baldwin, National Volunteer Program Lead at Bureau of Land Management
“The National Park Service will host nearly 100 events on National Public Lands Day to encourage people to discover, visit and interact with their public lands,” said Shari Orr, National Park Service Volunteer Program Manager. “Our partnership with NEEF on this day of service helps us introduce people to national parks and the recreational, inspirational and educational benefits they provide.”
NPLD Signature Event at northern Alabama nature preserve
This year sees the return of the National Public Lands Day Signature Event, which for many years has served as a kick-off for the nationwide celebration of public lands. The last in-person Signature Event was held in 2019 at Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC, with National Park Service Deputy Director David Vela as the keynote speaker.
The 2022 NPLD Signature Event will be held at Harvest Square Nature Preserve in Huntsville, Alabama, in partnership with Toyota Motor North America, the national corporate sponsor of NPLD. “This will be a special NPLD event for us, as we will be announcing a long-term project in the community to improve accessibility and enhance environmental education,” said Kevin Butt, senior director, environmental sustainability, sustainability & regulatory affairs at Toyota Motor North America, Inc.
Find NPLD Events Near You
NEEF's online, interactive map serves as the hub for NPLD events around the country. Click the map below to find events in your area.