On Saturday, September 23, 2023, volunteers in 46 states, plus Puerto Rico and Washington, DC, joined their friends, families, and neighbors in helping to restore and improve America’s public lands as part National Public Lands Day (NPLD), the nation's largest single-day volunteer event for public lands.
This year marked the 30th annual NPLD and organizers made the most of it. Over 40,000 volunteers participated in almost 600 events across the country, featuring some of America’s most memorable and unique locations—a natural history lesson at Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park, a coastal clean-up in Monterrey Bay, the removal of invasive Russian olive trees at Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. Unfortunately, several events in the Mid-Atlantic and East Coast regions were canceled due to Tropical Storm Ophelia.
“Thank you to the hundreds of thousands of volunteers who have given back to public lands over the past 30 years by maintaining trails, cleaning up trash, planting trees, and more,” said Sara Espinoza, president and CEO of NEEF. “As we look to the future, we are excited to build on this legacy of service by welcoming new partners and communities in caring for and enjoying these special places.”
Thank you to the hundreds of thousands of volunteers who have given back to public lands over the past 30 years by maintaining trails, cleaning up trash, planting trees, and more,
Sara Espinoza, president and CEO of NEEF
NEEF staff joined events on public lands sites throughout the country, including Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse Outstanding Natural Area in Florida, Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge in Colorado, and Lincoln Park in Wisconsin. Washington, DC-based staff are looking forward to taking part in a rescheduled event at Kenilworth Aquatic Park & Gardens.
NEEF’s Vice-President of Programs Jada Lewis and Program Director for Conservation Kelly Burnett participated in the NPLD Signature Event at Fish Trap Lake Park in Dallas, Texas. In addition to a park clean-up and macroinvertebrate lesson, the event served as a kick-off for a three-year, $150,000 project with Toyota, the Trinity Park Conservancy, Builders of Hope, and the local community. The project aims to increase access to environmental education for local youth and provide some much-needed site improvements for the park.
“For more than 20 years, Toyota, and our partners at NEEF, have worked together to care for America’s public parks, forests, and waterways through a variety of grantmaking initiatives and events like National Public Lands Day,” said Kevin Butt, senior director, environmental sustainability, sustainability, and regulatory affairs at Toyota Motor North America. “Our organizations share a commitment to ensure that people of all ages and abilities are able to connect with public lands for outdoor recreation, education, and just plain enjoyment—now and into the future.”
Though National Public Lands Day may be over, several NPLD events are still taking place! Make sure to check NEEF’s NPLD map to find one near you.