Registration for the 29th annual National Public Lands Day (NPLD) is now open. This year's NPLD will take place on Saturday, September 24, 2022, and will focus on the theme of “Giving Back Together.” Those planning on holding volunteer events as part of the NPLD 2022 celebration can visit https://www.neefusa.org/npld to register them.
A signature event of the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF), National Public Lands Day is the nation's largest single-day volunteer event for public lands. Established in 1994 and held annually on the fourth Saturday in September, this celebration brings out thousands of volunteers to help restore and improve public lands around the country.
NPLD is also a “Fee-Free Day”—one of only five days a year when entrance fees are waived at national parks and other public lands—making it the perfect option for those looking to explore the outdoors on a budget.
“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 the last decade, over one million volunteers have donated nearly 5 million hours of their time for public lands on NPLD, worth an estimated $133 million. 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.
“National Public Lands Day provides a unique opportunity to engage all people in experiencing what our Nation's Forests and Grasslands have to offer,” said Jim Copeland, Acting Director for Conservation Education, USDA Forest Service. “NEEF's online tools and resources for NPLD foster this engagement by connecting people with public lands near them. The Forest Service is proud to partner on this important work and to support numerous events happening across the country on Forest Service sites.”
“NEEF's online tools and resources for NPLD foster this engagement by connecting people with public lands near them. The Forest Service is proud to partner on this important work.” Jim Copeland, Acting Director for Conservation Education, USDA Forest Service.
NPLD is also a popular event for local, regional, and national organizations looking to increase employee engagement by providing volunteer opportunities in their communities. Participating companies include International Paper and Toyota Motor North America, the national corporate NPLD sponsor.
“For over 20 years, Toyota has partnered with NEEF to encourage communities to give back and protect the lands they love,” said Kevin Butt, senior director, environmental sustainability, sustainability & regulatory affairs at Toyota Motor North America, Inc. “Thousands of Toyota team members throughout the United States have generously given their time to NPLD events, and we're excited to get back out there this year in a way that is safe and responsible while delivering maximum conservation impacts.”
NEEF's NPLD map serves as the hub for NPLD events around the country. For more information on NPLD 2022 and to register your volunteer event, visit http://www.neefusa.org/npld.