National parks will offer free admission, wellness events, and stewardship activities for National Public Lands Day on Sept. 28 — the country’s biggest celebration of the great outdoors!
“It is always energizing to see people, parks, and communities unite in support of public lands,” said National Park Service Deputy Director P. Daniel Smith. “The variety of activities planned in national parks on National Public Lands Day will bring people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds together to help to raise awareness of these special places and foster personal connections to public lands.”
Organized by the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF), National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest single-day environmental volunteer effort. More than 100,000 people are expected to participate in thousands of events hosted by local, state, and national parks across the country. Volunteers will build trails, clean waterways, remove exotic species, and restore native landscapes. National parks, including Cape Cod, Everglades, Glen Canyon, Grand Canyon, Grand Teton, Herbert Hoover, Hopewell Furnace, Rocky Mountain, Timucuan, Weir Farm, Yosemite, and Zion, are among the sites hosting service events to improve and encourage shared stewardship of public lands.
Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C., will be the site of NEEF’s main National Public Lands Day event. One of the oldest national parks in the country, Rock Creek Park’s 3,000 acres of deciduous forests and meadows nestled in the middle of an urban environment provide necessary habitat for wildlife as well as recreational resources for people. Volunteers will assist with five conservation projects in the park. During the event, National Public Lands Day national sponsor Toyota Motor North America plans to announce a $200,000 grant to support conservation projects in national parks in the surrounding area.
In addition to environmental stewardship activities, many events on Sept. 28 will encourage the use of public lands for education, recreation, and health benefits. Parks can play a vital role in personal physical and mental well-being. Experience it firsthand with a paddle trip, wellness talk, guided hike, bike ride, art therapy session, and/or yoga class in a park.
National Parks Free Admission
To encourage everyone to take part in National Public Lands Day, all national parks will waive entrance fees. Volunteers participating in work projects will receive a voucher that can be redeemed for free entrance to any national park on a day of their choosing.
The National Environmental Education Foundation coordinates National Public Lands Day in partnership with seven federal agencies as well as nonprofit organizations and state, regional, and local governments. The federal partners are the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Department of Defense, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Forest Service.