Celebrate National Public Lands Day Events at National Wildlife Refuges Nationwide

On September 24, Americans across the country will participate in National Public Lands Day, the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer event for public lands. The event calls people of all ages to connect to America’s great outdoors and care for the country’s public lands.

This year’s National Public Lands Day supports the efforts of Let’s Move Outside, a program of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign. By linking parents to nearby parks, refuges, trails and waters, Let’s Move Outside promotes a healthier and more active lifestyle for all family members. The volunteer experience allows children to explore and enjoy the outdoors while benefiting the community. After volunteering, families can take advantage of the many recreational opportunities on public lands.

“In an increasingly urban, technology-focused world, more Americans of all ages are becoming disconnected from the natural world,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe. “National Public Lands Day gives us – especially our children – an opportunity to get outside and lend a hand to help conserve our public lands and fish and wildlife resources.”

In 2010, 170,000 volunteers worked at more than 2,080 public land sites in every state, the District of Columbia and in many U.S. territories to remove trash and invasive plants, build trails, and plant trees and other native plants.

Eight federal agencies, nonprofits and state, regional and local governments participate in National Public Lands Day, a day when people can visit all federal lands – including the Service’s national wildlife refuges – without paying an entry fee. This year, September 24 will be a “fee free” day on national wildlife refuges and many other federal lands.

Many national wildlife refuges will invite volunteers to commemorate this national day of service by helping to clean and enhance refuge property. See what’s planned at a refuge near you by using the refuge finder tool or check event calendar listings.

Among refuges planning National Public Lands Day events on Saturday, September 24:

Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge, TX – 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Help pick up trash at the Highway 105 Trinity River Bridge. Learn about Trinity River Refuge.

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, GA – 8:00 a.m. to noon.
Help maintain the historic Chesser Island Homestead. Free hot dogs and refreshments for participants. Learn about Okefenokee Refuge.

Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge, IN – 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Take part in clean-up activities. A free lunch will be provided. Learn about Muscatatuck Refuge.

Horicon National Wildlife Refuge, WI – 9:30 a.m. to noon.
Help rid the refuge of invasive plants. All ages are welcome. Wear long pants, sturdy shoes and gloves. Meet at the Egret Trail boardwalk parking lot off of the auto tour route off Hwy 49. Learn about Horicon Refuge.

For more information on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, visit www.fws.gov.