National Public Lands Day Frequently Asked Questions



What is National Public Lands Day (NPLD)?

National Public Lands Day (NPLD) is the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer event for public lands. Held annually on the last Saturday in September, it will be on Saturday, Sept. 22 in 2018. NPLD is also a “fee-free day”—entrance fees are waived at national parks and other public lands. NEEF (National Environmental Education Foundation) coordinates National Public Lands Day.

NPLD brings together hundreds of thousands of individual and organizational volunteers to help restore the country’s public lands. These are the places Americans use for outdoor recreation, education, and just plain enjoyment. The lands encompass national parks, monuments, wildlife refuges, forests, grasslands, marine sanctuaries, lakes, and reservoirs, as well as state, county, and city parks that are managed by public agencies, but that belong to and are enjoyed by all of us.

This enduring support and commitment to public lands year after year inspired NEEF to focus National Public Lands Day 2018 on resilience and restoration. Our natural resources are resilient, 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 helps ensure people of all ages and abilities connect with public lands for recreation, hands-on learning, and community-building—now and in the future.



When is NPLD?

The 25th annual National Public Lands Day celebration will take place on Saturday, September 22, 2018. The date is different every year and falls on the fourth Saturday in September.



Who participates in NPLD?

NPLD brings together hundreds of thousands of individual to help restore the country’s public lands at the federal, state, and local level. Participating federal agencies include the Bureau of Land Management, Department of Defense, the Environmental Protection Agency, National Park Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the USDA Forest Service.



I am not with a federal public land. Can I still participate in NPLD?

Yes! Any state, local, country or regional public land can host an NPLD event. School grounds and community gardens can also participate. There is no limitation on the size or the managing agency of the public land. As long as the land is held in the public trust (no private land) and accessible to the public, it can be an NPLD site.



What are the benefits of hosting an NPLD event?

There are many reasons for a public land to consider hosting an NPLD event. With its status as the nation's largest one-day volunteer event for public lands, NPLD receives considerable attention and press at the local and national level. Its prominence serves as a catalyst to attract new volunteers and visitors to your public land. Once a person is introduced to your park as a volunteer, they will want to return again and again.



How can I register my event?

You can register your 2018 NPLD event online at:



Are there a minimum number of volunteers required to register an event for NPLD?

No! Events range from small family trail clean-ups to 500 person mega-events that mobilize entire communities.




What did NPLD accomplish?

Check out the 2017 NPLD Impact Report:



What's in it for volunteers?

National Public Lands Day is a fantastic opportunity to get off the couch and out into beautiful natural settings. Volunteers can participate as a family or with school, community, or national groups such as the Student Conservation Association, Outdoor Nation, Boy Scouts of America, or Girl Scouts of the USA. The event is a great opportunity to get kids outside and help erase the “nature deficit” among the next generation.

All volunteers will get the satisfaction that comes from preserving and protecting their favorite public places, along with the physical exercise and family togetherness of a day full of enhancing, planting, and beautifying.




What do volunteers do?

Volunteers plant trees and native vegetation, build and refurbish trails, remove trash and invasive plants, repair bridges, restore historic structures, monitor endangered species, and restore habitats.



What kind of work projects apply towards NPLD?

Any project that benefits the public land can be registered for NPLD. The majority of projects are focused on habitat restoration such as tree plantings, trash or invasive plant removal, bird or bat house construction, trail maintenance, fence removal and gardening. Historic sites typically host beautification projects including trash pick-ups, painting, sculpture renovation and other needed projects.

Some public lands do not have the ability to host volunteer events. In these cases, the public land usually holds education programming. Examples include hikes, talks on public land issues, fishing derbys, festivals, classes on water quality testing and geocaching programs.



Where should interested volunteers go to find my event online?

Volunteers should use the NPLD site map on the NPLD landing page:



This is the first time I am hosting an NPLD event. Are there resources to help me as I plan for September 24?

Yes! The NPLD website is loaded with helpful resources, tips and ideas for leading an NPLD event including a Site Manager Promotional Toolkit:



Who supports NPLD?

While NEEF is the national host, Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. is the national sponsor of National Public Lands Day.

NPLD has seven federal agency partners are the Bureau of Land Management, Department of Defense, National Park Service, US Army Corps of Engineers, US Environmental Protection Agency, US Fish and Wildlife Service and US Forest Service. Other participants include more than 250 state, county, city, university, and school partners, as well as many parks and recreation departments.



Why is Toyota participating?

Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. has been the national sponsor of NPLD for over 20 years.  Every year Toyota encourages its employees to get involved in NPLD at the nation’s parks, forests, rivers, beaches, shorelines, and other public lands. Since 1999, more than 4,000 Toyota employees and their families have volunteered at more than 470 different sites on National Public Lands Day.



What is the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF)?

NEEF is a nonprofit organization that was chartered by Congress in 1990 to partner with the EPA to advance environmental literacy nationwide.  NEEF’s vision is bold: By 2022, 300 million Americans actively use environmental knowledge to ensure the well-being of the earth and its people.  To achieve its vision, NEEF offers scientific, unbiased, factual information through its own communications platforms, as well as a network of trusted professionals and affinity communities that, with their relationships and credibility, amplify environmental messages to national audiences. NEEF also implements environmental education investments in areas that best connect with everyday life: health, weather/climate, and nature where we live, learn, work, and play.  Learn more at – or follow NEEF on Facebook & Twitter @NEEFusa.



How can people stay informed about NPLD?

You can visit or bookmark our website, as well as follow us on Facebook and Twitter. The hashtag is #NPLD

Email with any questions or for more information about National Public Lands Day.