Making a Difference on Public Lands
NPLD 2018 IMPACT
On Saturday, September 22, 2018, volunteers pitched in on public lands throughout the country and at sites in all 50 states as part of the 25th annual National Public Lands Day (NPLD).
A Successful 25th Annual National Public Lands Day!
Organized each year by the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF), National Public Lands Day promotes the connection between people and the environment by inviting everyone to get outside. With support from NPLD national corporate sponsor Toyota, eight federal agency partners, hundreds of state and local partners, and dozens of nonprofit organizations, National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort.
2018 Theme: Restoration and Resilience
The 2018 National Public Lands Day theme was 'Restoration and Resilience.' Every day, natural disasters, human activities, and a host of other factors take their toll on our public lands, threatening the health and wellbeing of the people and wildlife who depend on them. Public land managers, volunteers, and others who steward these special places work tirelessly to restore these areas, making them more resilient to future threats, and ensuring that people and wildlife continue to enjoy them for years to come.
The work completed by volunteers at National Park sites across the country will help ensure that Americans of all ages and abilities can connect with our public lands for recreation, education, and community-building—now and in the future.
Lenny Teh, Program Manager, Service-wide Volunteers-In-Parks, National Park Service
This enduring support and commitment to public lands year after year inspired NEEF to focus National Public Lands Day 2018 on restoration and resilience. Our public lands play a critical role in our country’s resilience, but only if we treat them right and give them the care they need. Through volunteer service on National Public Lands Day as well as grant support to local organizations, NEEF is helping to ensure people of all ages and abilities can access public lands—now and in the future.
NPLD Sites Across the Country
Value of Volunteer Work
Pounds of Invasive Species Removed
Trees and Flowers Planted
Pounds of Trash Collected
Public Facilities Built or Maintained
Acres of Public Lands Restored
Miles of Trails and Rivers Maintained
2018 Signature Site: Big Thicket National Preserve
Big Thicket National Preserve epitomizes the 2018 NPLD theme of restoration and resilience. The preserve was significantly impacted when Hurricane Harvey blew through the 113,000 acres in 2017. Unprecedented flooding, intermittent power outages, and a lack of potable water forced the National Park Service to close all preserve facilities for more than a week. In the months that followed, local park employees and NPS staff from around the nation worked to account for employee safety, access park damage, and reopen the site. Since then, park staff and volunteers have continued a steady and thorough clean-up effort, but some areas still need help.
On September 22nd, 2018, more than 80 volunteers come out to continue the cleanup from Hurricane Harvey at Big Thicket. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate, and thunderstorms forced staff to cut the outdoor portion of the event short. Proving a resilient spirit, volunteers headed to the visitor center for indoor activities and presentations from NEEF, Toyota North America, the National Park Service and the Big Thicket Natural Heritage Trust. Part of the event included a check presentation for $20,000 to the Big Thicket Natural Heritage Trust to support ongoing stewardship efforts at the preserve throughout the year.
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"Volunteers are a valuable resource for all National Park Service units. Whether a person comes out and volunteers for a day or on a weekly or monthly basis, each one increases our capability to care for these important public lands."
Read how volunteers, site managers, families, and more spent their time volunteering for National Public Lands Day.
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