National Public Lands Day (NPLD) is the nation's largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands. In 2014, the 21st annual National Public Lands Day occurred on Saturday, September 27.
NPLD began in 1994 with three sites and 700 volunteers. It proved to be a huge success and became a yearly tradition, typically held on the last Saturday in September. Since the first NPLD, the event has grown by leaps and bounds.
In 2013, about 175,000 volunteers worked at 2,237 sites in every state, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico. That year, NPLD volunteers:
–Collected an estimated 23,000 pounds of invasive plants.
–Built and maintained an estimated 1,500 miles of trails.
–Planted an estimated 100,000 trees, shrubs and other native plants.
–Removed an estimated 500 tons of trash from trails and other places.
–Contributed an estimated $18 million through volunteer services to improve public lands across the country.
Seven federal agencies as well as nonprofit organizations and state, regional, and local governments participate in the annual day of caring for public lands.
NPLD educates Americans about the environment and natural resources, and the need for shared stewardship of these valued, irreplaceable lands; builds partnerships between the public sector and the local community based upon mutual interests in the enhancement and restoration of America's public lands; and improves public lands for outdoor recreation, with volunteers assisting land managers in hands-on work.
The local National Public Lands Day is held each year at Lake Kaweah, which is managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.