You may be surprised to learn that more than 30% of America is public land. They don’t call it America the Beautiful for nothing – and now you can give back. This year, take time to celebrate something we all share: our public lands.
Saturday, September 30 is National Public Lands Day #NPLD. Originally established in 1994 to promote environmental stewardship, National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands. Families, organizations and groups are encouraged to appreciate our nation’s public lands and to give back through service projects. In return, NPLD is a fee-free day for all federal public lands.
National Public Lands Day is a project of the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) and sponsored by Toyota Motor North America. Volunteers can participate in service projects such as maintaining trails, picking up trash, pulling invasive weeds, and more. Visitors are also encouraged to get out and explore national parks, federal forests and other public lands by hiking, camping, wildlife watching and other ways to enjoy our beautiful public lands.
Last year NPLD was celebrated at nearly 3,000 sites across all 50 United States, plus D.C. and U.S. territories. Over 236,000 volunteers contributed to various public improvement projects such as:
• Removing 75 tons of trash
• Building 1,200 miles of trails
• Planting more than 85,000 trees, shrubs and native plants
Zion National Park is just one of many national parks across the country waiving entry fees and providing volunteer opportunities. This year, the local Sierra Club will be working with Zion National Park staff on various park improvement projects from September 29-October 1. On Saturday, September 30, volunteers will meet with the Native Nursery staff to help encourage native plant growth and remove invasive species.
If you can’t be there for this year’s NPLD, Zion National Park offers a variety of volunteer opportunities throughout the year for individuals and groups who want to donate their time and talents to help preserve this scenic landscape.
Zion is one of the most popular national parks in the nation, seeing over 4 million visitors in 2016. Make this your year to celebrate beautiful Zion and all of America the Beautiful by volunteering your time during National Public Lands Day.