The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
National Public Lands Day Sept. 29
More than 170,000 volunteers are expected at more than 2,100 sites across the country on Saturday, Sept. 29 to take part in the largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands in the U.S.—National Public Lands Day (NPLD).
Volunteers in every state will visit parks, public and community gardens, beaches, wildlife preserves or forests and chip in to help these treasured places that belong to all Americans. They will improve and restore the lands and facilities the public uses for recreation, education, exercise and connecting with nature.
“With one-third of America's land in public hands, NPLD provides an opportunity for volunteers of all ages to help sustain these lands,” said Robb Hampton, director of the public lands program of the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF), which coordinates NPLD. “Volunteers can also spend time after their tasks to enjoy the lands, whether at a local green space or national park. Many sites offer nature hikes, bike rides, picnics or other outdoor activities.”
JL Armstrong, NEEF board member and national manager, corporate affairs at Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc., said, “NPLD involves thousands of volunteers making a difference in cities and towns across the nation while participating in outdoor activities. We encourage everyone, particularly families and service groups, to join their neighbors on NPLD to make their communities the best they can be.”
With a long-standing commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship, Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. is the event’s national sponsor for the 14th consecutive year. Northrop Grumman has joined as a contributing sponsor for the fourth consecutive year. Sept. 29 marks the event’s 19th year.
The event last year contributed an estimated $17 million in volunteer services to public lands, which included planting about 100,000 trees, shrubs and other native plants, as well as building and maintaining approximately 1,500 miles of trails.
Volunteers have unique opportunities to choose from, including:
- Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, Atlanta, Ga.–As part of Georgia’s “Your State Parks Day,” volunteers will restore historic houses, clear debris and help mulch. Atlanta’s nonprofit Greening Youth Foundation will also hold a youth campout barbecue the evening before NPLD.
- Globe Building Discovery Center, Detroit, Mich.–The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is hosting the groundbreaking of the Globe Building, a 50,000 sq. ft. indoor exploration center for outdoor recreation along the Detroit Riverfront. The groundbreaking is part of Michigan Trails Week with statewide volunteer opportunities.
- Elgin Community Gardens, Elgin, Ill.–Twenty-one community gardens throughout the city will be participating in NPLD. The gardens will harvest food and donate it to crisis centers, soup kettles, homeless shelters and food pantries.
- The Emerson Brook Forest Center, Gilsum, N.H.–The Sustainability Project, a local nonprofit, is inviting volunteers to create wheelchair-accessible gardens and trails surrounding a vernal pool. Keene State College Ecology Club and student organizations are expected to participate.
- Deschutes National Forest, Whychus Creek, near Sisters, Ore.–The U.S. Forest Service, National Forest Foundation, and REI Bend store will host a variety of family-friendly conservation projects along the creek. Half-day projects include planting, scattering native seeds and more. All volunteer projects finish by 2 p.m., leaving time to explore, fish and enjoy other activities.
Events in every state, the District of Columbia and many U.S. territories can be found online, searchable by state or zip code. Eight federal agencies will participate—along with more than 250 state, county and city partners, and a host of nonprofit organizations around the nation.
NPLD is also a designated fee-free entrance day at many federal public lands including national parks.
Visit EcoWatch’s BIODIVERSITY page for more related news on this topic.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
The Centers for Disease Control has emphasized that washing hands with soap and water is one of the most effective measures we can take in preventing the spread of COVID-19. However, millions of Americans in some of the most vulnerable communities face the prospect of having their water shut off during the lockdowns, according to The Guardian.
Aerial photos of the Sierra Nevada — the long mountain range stretching down the spine of California — showed rust-colored swathes following the state's record-breaking five-year drought that ended in 2016. The 100 million dead trees were one of the most visible examples of the ecological toll the drought had wrought.
Now, a few years later, we're starting to learn about how smaller, less noticeable species were affected.
Natthawat / Moment / Getty Images
Disinfectants and cleaners claiming to sanitize against the novel coronavirus have started to flood the market, raising concerns for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which threatened legal recourse against retailers selling unregistered products, according to The New York Times.
The global coronavirus pandemic has thrown our daily routine into disarray. Billions are housebound, social contact is off-limits and an invisible virus makes up look at the outside world with suspicion. No surprise, then, that sustainability and the climate movement aren't exactly a priority for many these days.
By Molly Matthews Multedo
Livestock farming contributes to global warming, so eating less meat can be better for the climate.