September 25, 2021 is National Public Lands Day. While this year is a little different you can join a volunteer group at one of many events across the country or join virtually.

Since the designation of Yellowstone National Park by Ulysses S. Grant in 1872, public lands have been created, explored, and cherished across the United States. Each year we celebrate National Public Lands Day by visiting National Parks for free, volunteering for trail maintenance, or relaxing on BLM land near our homes and businesses.

This year on National Public Lands Day (September 25), consider pitching in to clean up trash, remove invasive species, or build an outdoor classroom and give back to the places that give us so much.

“Our public lands–whether national park or monument, wildlife refuge, forest, or prairie–make each one of us land-rich. It is our inheritance as citizens of a country called America.” –Terry Tempest Williams

Here are some ideas about where and how to volunteer on National Public Lands Day in parks across the country:

How to Get Involved

National public lands day

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Visit a National Park for free

While amenities may be limited and social distancing guidelines are still in place, most National Parks will be open for National Public Lands Day. Find a park near you and visit for free.  Waived fees are included not only at the National Park System’s 418 parks but also sites managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the Department of Defense, US Army Corps of Engineers, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and US Forest Service.  Want to find your local public lands? Check out PRO Map Layers to see all the public lands near you.

Volunteer at Your Park

Have a park near you? Check whether they will be hosting in-person volunteer events here.  Looking to get connected online? Sign into virtual volunteer events and get to work wherever you are.

Attend a Virtual Event

Attend a virtual event for National Public Lands Day.

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Don’t have a park within driving distance? Luckily you can attend a virtual event this year! Pick from tons of virtual volunteer and educational events and sign on to get involved. Events range from a birthday celebration for Woodsy the 50-year-old owl at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie to virtual park tours.  The National Parks Association will be hosting educational events, live streams, and reenactments online!  You can find virtual events here.

Let Others Know

Make sure your friends and family know about National Public Lands Day so they can mark their calendars and get out there volunteering! Share how you are getting involved on social media and make sure to use the hashtags #NPLD, #NPSVolunteer, and #FindYourPark!

For even more National Public Lands Day Events, search by state through the National Park Service.

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