NPLD 2019 Impact: 156,096 volunteers; 624,372 volunteer hours; $15.9 million value of volunteer work; 2,117 sites across the country

NPLD 2019 Impact

26th Annual National Public Lands Day Sees 38% Increase in Volunteer Turnout

Some dug in with rakes, clippers, shovels, and hoes. Others went in with gloves and trash bags. And still more grabbed binoculars, laced up hiking boots, or strapped on bicycle helmets.

On September 28, 2019, over 156,000 volunteers—up 38% from last year—participated in volunteer activities at more than 2,000 public lands sites in 49 states, including Puerto Rico and Washington, DC. They joined in trail building projects, coastal and park clean ups, interpretive classes, guided hikes and bike rides, and other outdoor fun. It was all part of the 26th annual National Public Lands Day (NPLD), the nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort for America’s public lands.

Each year, the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) coordinates NPLD with support from national corporate sponsor Toyota North America, seven federal agency partners, hundreds of state and local partners, and dozens of nonprofit organizations. The main goal of this national volunteering effort is to promote the connection between people and the environment. NEEF estimates that this year’s NPLD volunteers contributed almost $16M in services to public lands.

Recognizing the importance of encouraging more people to get outside and enjoy public spaces, NPLD was also designated a Fee-Free Day by the National Park Service and other participating federal agencies, including the US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and US Army Corps of Engineers.

At the NPLD Signature Event in Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC, NEEF partnered with the National Park Service, Rock Creek Conservancy, and Toyota to host over 150 volunteers at one of the country’s oldest national parks. They were welcomed by David Vela, Acting Deputy Director of Operations for the National Park Service, who spoke of the importance of NPLD as a way to give back to the public lands that provide us with so much. Volunteers then spread out throughout this 1,800-acre urban oasis, rolled up their sleeves, and got to work on a variety of trail maintenance, clean-up, and native planting activities.

Also at the event, Kevin Butt, general manager of Toyota Environmental Sustainability, announced a $200,000 grant to support conservation projects within the National Capital Region (NCR). This area includes Washington, DC as well as portions of Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia. Serving as NPLD corporate sponsor for the 21st straight year, Toyota hosted two dozen additional volunteer events around the country on Saturday.

“This grant helps parks to effectively reduce invasive plant impacts and increase habitat for threatened native wildlife,” said Butt. “It ties in with our biodiversity goals and aim to conserve habitat for future generations.”

Mark your calendar for next year: Saturday, September 26, 2020!

What People Are Saying

"National Public Lands Day connects people to nature through service. It is the perfect opportunity to care for our public lands while spending time with family and friends and taking advantage of all the benefits that come from spending time outdoors."

- Meri-Margaret Deoudes, President & CEO, NEEF

"National Public Lands Day is not only a day of service, it is a day to connect with others and to recognize the benefits of their helping hands. We simply could not keep our national forests and grasslands healthy, resilient and productive without the help and support of our volunteers and partners."

- Chris French, Deputy Chief of National Forest System, US Forest Service

"The National Park Service is proud to partner with NEEF for another successful National Public Lands Day, which brings people and communities together. The work completed by volunteers at NPS sites across the country 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

NPLD 2019 events across the country
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Plum Beach tire clean-up

National Public Lands Day

Mark your calendar for NPLD this year: Saturday, September 26, 2020!
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Thanks to Our Sponsors

National Sponsor

Toyota

Additional Sponsors

International Paper

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