National Park Service

Give Back on National Public Lands Day

The gratitude-filled event, which finds volunteer projects popping up at our national parks, is also a free entrance day at fee-charging parks.

Jordan Siemens

BLOWING A KISS... to a cardinal? Hugging a favorite pine? Waving at a ranger walking in the distance, just to show how much you appreciate the people who serve our national parks? It isn't hard to absolutely well with warm feelings when you're calling upon Lassen Volcanic National Park, Yosemite National Park, or another place where the nature flourishes, animals frolic, and humans can be at deep and utter peace. But there's another way to get your gratitude on at your favorite park, and it involves pitching in on a project or two. And the most major pitch-in of the year arrives in late September each year, when...

NATIONAL PUBLIC LANDS DAY... arrives. In 2020, the occasion falls on Sept. 26 (it's always on the final Saturday in September), and while the pandemic has changed a lot of events, you can still find give-back routes to connecting with a favorite place. Also? Admission is free at fee-charging national parks on the 26th. But if you're thinking of joining a bigger volunteer effort, like the famous Yosemite Facelift, which always coincides with National Public Lands Day, check in first to see what's happening. In terms of the big Yosemite clean-up effort? It's an at-home event in 2020, so roll up those sleeves and "act local."

THE GET-INSPIRED STORY... behind the nation-big, volunteer-cool day? "Established in 1994 and held annually on the fourth Saturday in September, National Public Lands Day is traditionally the nation's largest single-day volunteer effort. It celebrates the connection between people and green space in their community, inspires environmental stewardship, and encourages use of open space for education, recreation, and health benefits," reads a message on the National Park Service site. If you do plan to enjoy the free admission at a favorite park on Sept. 26, check ahead on travel advisories. Yosemite National Park just reopened, following a closure due to the nearby fire, but visitor services are still rolling out. Get details now.

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