NPLD letters with people around them

NEEF Opens Registration for National Public Lands Day Volunteer Events

The National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) is proud to announce that online registration is now open for the 28th National Public Lands Day (NPLD). Site managers can begin registering their volunteer events that will take place as part of NPLD 2021 festivities by visiting www.neefusa.org/npld

NEEF's National Public Lands Day is the nation's largest single-day volunteer event for public lands. Established in 1994 and held annually on the fourth Saturday in September, this celebration brings out thousands of volunteers to help restore and improve public lands around the country. NPLD is also a “Fee-Free Day”—entrance fees are waived at national parks and other public lands. This year’s NPLD will take place on Saturday, September 25, 2021. 

“Though the COVID-19 pandemic has upended many aspects of daily life in this country, it has also reminded us of just how invaluable the natural environment is with its beauty, resiliency, and healing power,” said Meri-Margaret Deoudes, president and CEO of NEEF. “We are excited to build on what we learned from last year’s successful event and apply that knowledge to making NPLD 2021 fun, inclusive, and safe for all site managers and volunteers.” 

Taking into consideration that social distancing requirements may still in place for some areas of the country this September, NEEF will once again offer both in-person and virtual NPLD events as part of its “More Ways to Connect to Nature" theme. Online events will connect the public to iconic parks, national forests, marine estuaries, and other public lands sites while serving as an alternative for NPLD site managers who are unable to host in-person events due to local regulations. They will also provide an avenue for volunteer engagement to those who may be unable to participate under normal circumstances. 

“While virtual events were a necessity for NPLD site managers over the past year, they have also proven to be an invaluable tool for connecting a wider, more diverse range of people to the outdoors,” said Tony Richardson, director of public lands engagement at NEEF. “This year, our goal is to highlight that diversity—in public lands, people, and the ways in which we value and care for these spaces—by supporting in-person, virtual, and hybrid NPLD events.” 

NEEF is also bringing back its popular NPLD Highlighted Site sponsorships to support individual events taking place on NPLD. A total of 25 public lands sites will be selected to receive up to $1,000 in funding for in-person or virtual NPLD events. Sponsorship funds will be awarded through a competitive process. NEEF will also provide up to $5,000 in funding to four select environmental groups that embody their organizational goals of increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the outdoors. 

“NPLD is special because it provides all friends of the environment—old and new—an opportunity to show our appreciation for America’s precious natural resources through activities such as invasive plant removal, habitat restoration, and replanting of native species,” said Kevin Butt, senior director, environmental sustainability, sustainability & regulatory affairs at Toyota Motor North America, Inc., the national corporate NPLD sponsor. “This year’s sponsorship will focus on providing funding to public lands sites that host innovative and high-quality events that engage and educate communities on how to care for their local environment.” 

For more information on the NPLD Highlighted Site sponsorship and to register your volunteer event for NPLD 2021, visit www.neefusa.org/npld

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