In recognition of National Public Lands Day on Saturday, Sept. 24, entry fees will be waived at national parks and other federal public lands, including national monuments, forests, recreation areas, seashores, wildlife refuges, historical sites, battlefields and grasslands.
National Public Lands Day is a great day for a visit, and it also is the nation’s largest single day of volunteering for parks and public lands, with 100,000 volunteers expected at federal sites as well as state and local parks. To see the hundreds of planned volunteer events and other activities in most states, go to neefusa.org/npld-event-search.
The National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF), which leads and coordinates National Public Lands Day (NPLD), partners on NPLD with the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, the USDA Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, other federal agencies, state and local parks, plus corporate sponsor Toyota.
Among the hundreds of volunteer locations are: Grand Canyon Parashant National Monument, Great Smoky Mountains, Yellowstone, Pikes Peak, White Point Nature Preserve in Los Angeles, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Enchanted Forest in North Miami, Bears Ears National Monument, Mill Springs Battlefield National Monument, Arches National Monument, George Washington Carver National Monument, Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument, Andersonville National Cemetery (GA), Everglades National Park, Mount Rainier National Park, Harvest Square Nature Preserve, and Golden Gate National Park.
Some of the tasks volunteers will do include:
- Clean the wall of names at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
- At Yosemite rock climbers will rappel from great heights to pick up litter on the face and edges of the iconic massive rock formations in the park. There will also be less daring trash pickup by hundreds of volunteers throughout the park.
- The Student Conservation Association and other volunteers will plant shrubs and dig holes to restore the habitat for the endangered New England cottontail rabbit at the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge in Scarborough, Maine. The "Rabbitat Planting Party" expects 250 volunteers.
There are also many educational events and celebrations, such as hundreds gathering at Vermillion Cliffs National Monument (AZ) to see the release of captive-bred California Condors, the largest birds in North America.