6 Spots for Stewardship This National Public Lands Day
Each year, on the fourth Saturday of September, national parks across the country celebrate National Public Lands Day with a free entrance day. All are encouraged to join in the fun and lend a hand during the largest, single-day volunteer event for public lands. Below are just a few volunteer events happening this year:
Volunteering During an Anniversary
From September 14-23, Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park in Georgia and Tennessee is celebrating the 155th anniversary of the Battle of Chickamauga. Presentations, battle hikes, living history programs, and more will fill the week’s program. Amidst these festivities, visitors can sign up to give back to the park on National Public Lands Day by helping preserve a historic walking path, which once served as an original route of the Trail of Tears and was later used as the Union supply line during the Siege of Chattanooga.
Trail Improvements and a Movie
Visiting Greenbelt Park’s 10 miles of trails is one pleasant way to spend National Public Lands Day, but if you’re in Maryland and able to join, why not register to help with some of the trail projects in the morning? Interested volunteers may pre-register online. After the morning’s work has been completed, visitors can enjoy the park and end the day with a free movie showing.
Little Park on the Prairie
Minnesota’s prairie lands will benefit this National Public Lands Day as visitors assist with seed collection from the native tall grass prairie. This event at Pipestone National Monument will take place all morning and will help restore the tall grass prairie in a more recently donated area of the park.
Join the squad at Tennessee’s Stones River National Battlefield for training! For various days throughout September, including National Public Lands Day, the park is seeking individuals to lead groups of volunteers as they remove invasive plants and trash. Whether you visit alone or with a group, all are welcome to lend a hand. Remember to register in advance so they can expect you or your group at 10 a.m. on Saturday, September 22.
Give Back on the Anza Trail
Bring work gloves or just bring yourself (the park can supply work gloves and other supplies) if you’re in Arizona and able to volunteer at Tumacácori National Historical Park in Arizona this month. The park is seeking volunteers to spend the morning cleaning up the 1.5 mile section of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail within the park. Interested? Meet in the park’s picnic area at 8:30AM on National Public Lands Day for a brief orientation.
Parks and Pizza
Combine your love for nature with your appreciation for pizza by volunteering at Minute Man National Historical Park this month. One week after National Public Lands Day, this Massachusetts park is offering free pizza for volunteers as they help rehabilitate the trail system along the historic North Bridge. From raking to seeding, there are plenty of ways to help… and work up an appetite!
Whether you take advantage of these volunteer opportunities or plan to give back in the future, National Public Lands Day is a great reminder of the many incredible places that dot America’s landscape. If you do decide to spend the day giving back, pack a snack and wear clothes suitable for the work you’ll be performing. For more ideas on how to volunteer, check out the National Park Service’s site or ask a ranger the next time you #FindYourPark.