What Is National Public Lands Day?

What Is National Public Lands Day?

Since 1994, National Public Lands Day has been celebrated on the fourth Saturday of September each year. This year’s NPLD falls on September 26th, and is marked by special events throughout the country. Here’s why we celebrate this holiday. 

Two women walking over rocks.

NPLD History 

National Public Lands Day was founded by the National Environmental Education Foundation. While NPLD is often associated with US National Parks, it celebrates ALL of our public lands, from local parks to BLM land to national forests. According to NEEF, the holiday is the nation’s largest single-day volunteer event organized to celebrate public lands. The event is centered around volunteering for work projects, visiting parks, and enjoying the great outdoors available on our public lands! 

What Takes Place 

While bigger meetup events aren’t taking place this year, there are still many exciting things going on. One perk of National Public Lands Day is that you can enjoy fee-free entry to US National Parks. On-site events (where allowed) will educate visitors about public lands and encourage stewardship for these areas. And, as a special treat, a Virtual Signature Event is kicking off the day to ignite the public land love. 

Why Was NPLD Created? 

This holiday was created to educate citizens about the public land access available to them and to encourage stewardship of our natural resources. Free entrance days encourage visitation from populations that may not otherwise visit their local parks, and more folks get outside into fresh air. What more could you want to celebrate?

How Can You Join 

COVID-19 has impacted this year’s National Public Lands Day, but there are still many ways to get involved, in person and virtually. Many areas are offering online tours, Q&A sessions, and online volunteer projects. Visit NEEF’s event locator to find a way you can join in on the fun. Search by event type, location, keyword, and more to find the event for you. If you’re not the event type, you can celebrate NPLD by getting outside and enjoying a public land area near you. 

Woman holding camping supplies.

However you ring in National Public Lands Day, don’t forget to #RecreateResponsibly! Happy trails, adventurers!