National Public Lands Day (NPLD) is the nation's largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands. NPLD 2015 will take place on Saturday, September 26.
On NPLD more than 175,000 volunteers and park visitors celebrated at more than 2,100 public land sites in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
NPLD began in 1994 with three sites and 700 volunteers. It proved to be a huge success and became a yearly tradition, typically held on the last Saturday in September. Since the first NPLD, the event has grown by leaps and bounds.
In 2014, about 175,000 volunteers worked at 2,132 sites in every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. NPLD volunteers:
- Collected an estimated 23,000 pounds of invasive plants
- Built and maintained an estimated 1,500 miles of trails
- Planted an estimated 100,000 trees, shrubs and other native plants
- Removed an estimated 500 tons of trash from trails and other places
- Contributed an estimated $18 million through volunteer services to improve public lands across the country
Seven federal agencies as well as nonprofit organizations and state, regional and local governments participate in the annual day of caring for public lands.
National Public Lands Day keeps the promise of the Civilian Conservation Corps, the "tree army" that worked from 1933-1942 to preserve and protect America's natural heritage.
NPLD helps to educate Americans about the environment and natural resources, and the need for shared stewardship of these valued, irreplaceable lands; build partnerships between the public sector and the local community based upon mutual interests in the enhancement and restoration of America's public lands; and improve public lands for outdoor recreation, with volunteers assisting land managers in hands-on work.