September 24 is National Public Lands Day (NPLD), the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer event for public lands in the United States. It’s a great opportunity to volunteer and give back to your favorite park or visit a new park you’ve been wanting to check out. Take in some fresh air and spend some meaningful time with your family at one of the 1,750 sites around the country. To find a site near you, visit http://www.publiclandsday.org
NPLD began in 1994 with three sites and 700 volunteers. It proved to be a huge success and became a yearly tradition.
Last year, 170,000 volunteers worked at over 2,080 sites in every state, the District of Columbia and in many U.S. territories. NPLD volunteers:
- Removed an estimated 450 tons of trash
- Collected an estimated 20,000 pounds of invasive plants
- Built and maintained an estimated 1,320 miles of trails
- Planted an estimated 100,000 trees, shrubs and other native plants
- Contributed an estimated $15 million to improve public lands across the country
National Public Lands Day is also supporting the efforts of Let’s Move Outside, a program of the Let’s Move! initiative launched by First Lady Michelle Obama. Let’s Move is dedicated to solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation by putting children on the path to a healthy future during their earliest months and years. The goal is to:
- Give parents helpful information
- Foster environments that support healthy choices
- Provide healthier foods in our schools
- Ensure that every family has access to healthy, affordable food
- Help kids become more physically active
Kids need at least 60 minutes of active play each day, and one of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to meet this goal is by playing outside. So make September 24 a win-win day by letting children get their hands dirty, have fun and benefit the community!