Did you know more than 30 percent of America’s land is public? From neighborhood parks and beaches to national parks and forests, public land is all around us.
National Public Lands Day, celebrated annually on the fourth Saturday of September, promotes the enjoyment and conservation of public lands. Launched in 1994 with the help of just 700 volunteer, today this signature event of the National Environmental Education Foundation is our nation’s “largest, single-day volunteer effort.” Encourage your community to learn about, use and care for some of your area’s most beautiful places. We include outdoor swag ideas to promote participation.
Educate, promote and encourage care for public lands
- Educate: Combine support for public land with learning new skills and you have a win-win idea. If you’re in charge of managing a community garden, consider hosting a free gardening “how-to” to teach the public about the types of plants that thrive in your area’s public lands. A nature center may consider holding a free educational event where families can learn about native species and their habitats. Give those who attend an outdoor promotional item like a seeded garden stake or Plantable Pin.
- Promote: Instilling a love of the outdoors can generate current and future support for public land. Encourage your community members to get outside and enjoy all that public lands have to offer. Ask participants to share images of their family and friends hiking, camping, boating, fishing—you name it—on your social media pages. Enter those who do into a prize drawing for a first aid kit, camping lantern or fishing hat.
- Provide care: One of the best ways to support public land is by caring for it. Organize a community event to pick up litter, remove invasive species, plant trees or shrubs, create trails and so on. Consider reaching out to local volunteer groups that may have an interest, such as conservation groups, Boy and Girl Scout troops, local school groups and more. Provide those who participate with some outdoor swag to say thanks. A pair of logoed Sunglasses or a carabiner bottle bag make great choices.
Rally support for National Public Lands Day by educating the community, promoting the outdoors and organizing volunteer events. You can register your event or celebration with the National Environmental Education Foundation. And don’t forget to pass out some outdoor swag to those who participate. Enjoy the great outdoors!