More than 175,000 Volunteers Expected on National Public Lands Day, September 27

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More than 175,000 volunteers will paint, plant, mulch and clean thousands of acres of public lands at more than 2,200 sites across the U.S. on Saturday, September 27 as part of the largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands in the United States, National Public Lands Day (NPLD). NPLD is run by the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) and sponsored by Toyota.

Volunteers of all ages at the MLK, Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta on NPLD 2013.

“One third of America's land is in public hands and NPLD offers everyone an opportunity to explore and give back," said Diane Wood, President of NEEF.

More than 175,000 volunteers will paint, plant, mulch and clean thousands of acres of public lands across the U.S. on Saturday, September 27 as part of the largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands in the United States, National Public Lands Day (NPLD). Volunteers will serve at more than 2,200 sites – at least one in every state, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

Events range in size from a dozen volunteers cleaning the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge in Alamo, Texas to 75 volunteers painting “Tug Boat Dan” at the John H. Kerr Dam and Reservoir in Boydton, Virginia to 850 Toyota employees building a brand new park and education center in Blue Springs, Mississippi to 1,500 rock climbers leading the 12th Annual Yosemite Facelift at Yosemite National Park in California.

The National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) created NPLD to help improve public lands and to educate youth and adults about their importance. For the past 21 years, millions of volunteers around the country have pitched in to spruce up some of America's most precious treasures.

“Thousands of volunteers will visit their favorite parks, beaches, wildlife preserves or forests and chip in to help improve the lands and facilities that all Americans own, and that we use for recreation, education, exercise and just plain enjoyment," said Diane Wood, President of NEEF. “One third of America's land is in public hands and NPLD offers everyone an opportunity to explore and give back.”

Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. (TMS) has been the national sponsor for NPLD for 16 years operating as a true partner to make the event thrive.

“Our corporate commitment to NPLD goes far beyond the important financial resources we provide,” said Michael Rouse, TMS vice president of diversity, philanthropy and community affairs. “This year, Toyota employees will be hosting or co-hosting 40 NPLD events around the country providing thousands of hours of service to our communities. The Toyota team in Blue Springs, Mississippi is creating an entirely new public park as part of their commitment to their community and to NPLD.”

Other examples of NPLD activities this year include:

  • Humboldt Park – In Chicago, Illinois, NPLD and local partners including the Chicago Park District, Friends of the Parks, REI and Block Club Federation will hold a special two-day event with the community on the 207-acre public land. On Friday night, Chicago youth will spend the night in Humboldt Park for an educational urban campout experience, and on Saturday, volunteers will paint fences and gates, distribute mulch, plant trees, remove invasive plants and more.
  • GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail – In South Carolina, Park Heroes, Greenville County Parks, Recreation and Tourism and REI Greenville are teaming up to tackle sightline clearing, trail stabilization, debris clearing, river clean up, fencing installation and more.
  • Homestead National Monument of America – In Beatrice, Nebraska, the National Park Service and volunteers will conduct their annual fall deer survey.
  • St. Louis River – In Duluth, Minnesota, the Superior National Forest is working with Wilderness Inquiry and local partners to sponsor a public interactive and educational event to celebrate 30 years of restoration for the St. Louis River. This event will provide participants with the opportunity to paddle the river with experienced staff and naturalists.
  • Acadia National Park – In Bar Harbor, Maine, as part of Great Maine Outdoors Weekend, visitors will participate in Hawk Watch on Cadillac Mountain. In addition to hawks, observers will keep track of hummingbirds, butterflies and dragonflies. The vantage point of Cadillac Mountain allows observers and visitors to see the phenomenon of migration in real time.

Events in every state can be found online: http://www.publiclandsday.org/npld-sites (search by state or zip code).

National Public Lands Day is a fee-free day on Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and U.S. Forest Service lands. At participating sites, NPLD volunteers also earn a fee-free day coupon that they can use for another visit at any of the participating national parks within the next 12 months.

National Public Lands Day brings together thousands of volunteers from coast to coast to improve and restore the lands and facilities that Americans use for recreation, education, exercise and relaxation. NPLD has provided more than $17 million in contributed services by volunteers annually to public lands.

Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. is the event’s national corporate sponsor for the 16th consecutive year. Northrop Grumman has joined as a contributing sponsor again for the 6th year. The National Environmental Education Foundation (http://www.neefusa.org) coordinates National Public Lands Day.

Seven federal agencies will participate along with more than 250 state, county, and city partners and a host of nonprofit groups, including the Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of the USA, Student Conservation Association and The Corps Network.

More information can be found at http://www.publiclandsday.org.

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