The crisp air and vivid colors of fall make forests especially welcoming this time of year. The Forest Service wants everyone to get out and enjoy the natural beautiful of America’s lands, so in observance of National Public Lands Day, on Saturday, Sept. 29, we will again waive the standard amenity fees for a full day at recreation sites nationwide.
This annual fee-waiver event is designed to instill a sense of shared stewardship and educate the public about the importance of natural resources. This is the third time this year the Forest Service is offering fee waivers.
“We appreciate the work of so many volunteers who help us care for our special lands,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. “National Public Lands Day is a great opportunity for families to visit our national forests, experience the beauty of fall foliage, and perhaps be motivated to join in with other volunteers and help us restore America’s precious natural resources.”
Scheduled events support President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative and First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Outside Initiative. Activities planned on Forest Service locations include trail maintenance, river clean-ups and tree plantings.
Last year’s National Public Lands Day efforts resulted in building about 1,500 miles of trails; planting about 100,000 trees, shrubs and other native plants; removing about 500 tons of trash from recreation sites, and contributing about $17 million through volunteer services to improve public lands.
A program of the National Environmental Education Foundation, National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest hands-on volunteer effort to improve America’s public lands. It began in 1994 with three federal agencies and 700 volunteers. In 2011, more than 170,000 volunteers lent a hand at 2,067 sites in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Eight federal agencies and many state and local lands are expected to participate this year in this annual day of caring for shared public lands.
New this year, the Foundation welcomes tribes to celebrate the first annual National Tribal Lands Day that falls on the same day.
Participants can click on the public lands day site to find a location nearby or visit http://www.rec.gov to get helps planning activities and making camping reservations on national forests and other federal lands throughout the year.
The Forest Service looks forward to seeing you at one of the many recreation sites to celebrate National Public Lands Day this year.