Like the song says, “This land is your land/this land is my land/from California/ to the New York island.” Now, you can honor it all on National Public Lands Day, held on the fourth Saturday in September. This year’s events fall on September 26 when outdoor freaks and geeks come out to participate in planting trees, removing trash, and observing wildlife. More likely than not you can find public lands near you that you didn’t even know you had access to. The whole idea is to draw attention to the beauty of our environment and attend events that bring us together. It’s also a day to reflect on how natural disasters, and human neglect can impact nature.
National Public Lands Day timeline
- October 10, 2017
EPA sought Obama-era regulation repeal
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed abolishing the Clean Power Plan citing the regulation goes above and beyond the agency’s statutory authority.
- May 27, 2015
Clean Water Protection Rule
The Waters of the U.S Rule is an environmental protection of streams and wetlands that ensures those areas are precisely and accurately defined.
- June 25, 2013
Presidential climate change strategy
President Obama issued a climate change strategy that prepares agencies for negative climate effects by cutting carbon pollution in the U.S.
- October 5, 2010
First national greenhouse gas fuel standards
With a goal of reducing greenhouse gases by 250 million metric tons, the nation issued the first greenhouse gas fuel efficiency standards for trucks and buses.
BP paid $62 million criminal fine
BP was hit with one of the largest criminal fines for an environmental violation associated with the 2005 refinery explosion that killed 15 people.
National Public Lands Day Activities
Clear debris from a trail
There’s nothing nicer than an early morning stroll on a neighborhood trail. But when that trail is strewn with bottles and other debris, it distracts you from the healthful benefits of your walk. On National Public Lands Day, do something different and clean the trail as you walk it. You’ll still get the good vibes from the exercise but you’ll also know that you are helping your environment as well as your neighbors.
Plant a tree
Planting a tree is the purest form of loving your environment. Contact someone from a local environmental organization and gather a group of friends to plant a tree in the name of a loved one or a cause. Partner with the American Cancer Society or some other non-profit to find out more.
Work to restore a historic structure
Contact the Army Corps of Engineers or the USDA Forest Service and volunteer to help restore any historic structures that may be in disrepair. There may be a small wood shed in the park that needs a few extra nails and some paint. It’s not much but whatever you can do helps.
5 Crystal Clear Facts About Recycling
It’s an energy powerhouse
Did you know that energy saved from one recycled aluminum can could supply power to your television for almost three hours.
Toilet paper toll
Consider this — it takes 25,000 cut trees in one day just to produce toilet paper.
Re-use that bottle
Since it takes about 4,000 years for a glass bottle to decompose, we could have settlements on Mars and that bottle will still be sitting in a landfill.
It can reduce paper and plastic bags
Grocery stores and supermarkets use up to about 60 million paper bags annually, which is a great argument for why you should bring your own bags to the store.
We’re number one!
The U.S. has the unenviable spot as the number one trash-producing country in the world.
Why We Love National Public Lands Day
It encourages us to appreciate our environment
No matter where you live in America, there's a way to show Mother Nature we love her. Even in congested cities, neighbors bond in community gardens. When life is hectic and work is exhausting, we can always jump in the car or on a bike and feel rejuvenated in the fresh air and beauty of nature. National Public Lands Day helps us to honor the wonderful gift of American parks, waters, and wildlife.
It focuses on a day of volunteer service
Getting out in the Great Outdoors helping to restore our parks, coastlines, and dwellings is a big part of National Public Lands Day. Volunteers come out from all over the country to do their part and help the environment. Even though picking up trash in the neighborhood park may not seem like a big deal, it is when thousands of people join together doing the little things that make a gigantic impact.
It's great exercise
No money for a gym membership? No problem. If you’re a couch potato, get up, grab a sack, and clean up a park. It’s wonderful exercise and you’ll probably meet other like-minded souls like yourself. All it takes is determination and a little elbow grease to do your part on National Public Lands Day .