National Public Lands Day = Free National Parks Entrance on Saturday
Saturday is another fee-free day at the National Parks. Why? Because it’s National Public Lands Day. According to Wikipedia, NPLD is “A signature event of the National Environmental Education Foundation, it promotes both popular enjoyment and volunteer conservation of public lands.”
If you choose to volunteer on NPLD through the Bureau of Land Management you will will receive a voucher for your own fee-free day at any property managed by the Bureau. Not a bad deal, I’d say. The event happens every year at the end of September, and since I’m going to a wedding this Saturday, I’m going to look into volunteering next year, perhaps at Great Falls.
To locate your nearest national park, check out the NPS search tool.
Anybody planning on volunteering? Or perhaps just enjoying a National Park for free? If so, which one?
Free Entry To National Parks
In an age of technology, a weekend of relaxation often means kicking back with our feet in the air and the remote control in one hand as we navigate hundreds of channels of digital entertainment. After all, we spent the entire week running around and our feet are sore, tired and we just need to rest.
Too often we forget that it isn’t just our body that needs rest. Relaxation comes in many forms and arguably the most important is the mind. Your feet may be comfortable on top of the coffee table or ottoman but your mind is still racing frantically to keep up with the noise and fast moving images coming from your television.
Think it’s all ridiculous? Check out this study by CNN that shows kids have a harder time concentrating and learning after watching a fast paced episode of Spongebob versus a regular and slower paced cartoon.
So what does this all have to do with travel? Everything. This weekend is National Public Lands Day and all those beautiful and relaxing National Parks across the entire country are offering free admission. Grab your kids, pets, husbands and/or wives and get out of the house. Pitch a tent or rent a cabin, relax on the lakes, build a warm fire and allow your brain as well as your body a chance to rejuvenate.
In Honor Of National Public Lands Day: The Top Five Purposes Of Public Lands By Public Lands Team Sep 2012
Public lands have a wide variety of purposes, from contributing to the economy to being an important part of our heritage. Here is our list of the top five purposes and benefits of public lands:
1. They provide a place for all Americans—not just the wealthy few—to play. America’s system of public lands leaves them open to everyone, no matter how rich or poor. And this is unique—as Rep. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) wrote, “In most countries in the world, if you aren’t landed gentry, good luck hunting and fishing. Your best bet in many of those places is to pay a steep price to hunt and fish on someone else’s private land.” Public lands reflect many of our democratic ideals, such as equality and liberty.
2. They are part of our national heritage. Currently America boasts 397 national park units, 103 national monuments, and 757 wilderness areas. Each of these represents a time or place that is important to our history as an American people. From the newly created Chimney Rock National Monument that honors Native Americans, to Yellowstone National Park that echoes the spirit that drew us westward, to Fort Monroe National Monument that tells the story of slavery and the Civil War, our public lands are part of our collective memory as a nation.
3. They create economic development and jobs. America’s lands have for hundreds of years provided the natural resources that keep our economy moving. Today, public lands are the source of coal, oil, gas, timber, and other minerals, and their extraction provides economic benefits and jobs. Additionally, protecting public lands stimulates economic development by way of tourism and the active outdoor industry. A recent report from the Department of the Interior found that in 2011, the agency contributed $385 billion to the economy and supported 2 million jobs (this number does not include the contributions of the U.S. Forest Service).
4. They help provide clean air and clean water. Mountains, forests, and rivers are the source of many of the natural amenities on which we depend. Public lands provide these resources to a vast number of people—for example, more than 124 million Americans get their clean drinking water from national forests. And forests and grasslands filter carbon pollution from the air caused by burning fossil fuels and other industrial activity. Protecting these places from development and keeping them in tact will ensure that future generations are able to continue relying on them.
5. They are crucial to helping our country adapt to climate change. Public lands are important both on the mitigation and adaptation sides of climate change. Forests are extremely important to the long-term storage of carbon—the Forest Service reports that forests and wood products are responsible for sequestering 200 million tons of carbon every year, equivalent to “about 10 percent of annual emissions from fossil fuels.” Additionally, large tracts of intact lands will be critical to ensuring that species are able to migrate to more suitable habitats as global warming changes the landscape.
This is also an important time to be talking about public lands issues because they have made appearances in a number of elections this year. Other than Romney’s gaffe, public lands have played a role in the New Mexico and Montana Senate races, Utah’s governor race, and in a ballot initiative in Arizona. For the very existence of public lands to continue, it is important that we understand the positions that our candidates have on public lands issues, and what their visions are for them in the future.Source: thinkprogress.org
National Public Lands Day, various parks – 9/24
Event Title National Public Lands Day Date 9/24/2011 Time 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM EST Location Nescopeck State Park 1137 Honey Hole Road City Drums State PA Zip Code 18222 Location Phone 570-403-2006 County Luzerne Region Northeast Pennsylvania Mountains Description Meet at park office. National Public Lands Day is an opportunity to give back to the parks, forests, and other public lands you enjoy. Any and all volunteers are welcome to come out for the morning and help with a variety of projects such as weeding or litter clean up. Most of our attention will be devoted to prep and installation work in our future Nature Playground. If you’re bringing a group of younger helpers, such as scouts, please specify when registering. Water, long sleeves, pants, and sturdy shoes are recommended. Registration required. Contact Email email@example.com Contact Phone 570-403-2006 Activities Volunteers Other DCNR website ———————————————————————————————————————————————- Event Title National Public Lands Day Park Cleanup Date 9/24/2011 Time 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM EST Location Promised Land State Park 100 Lower Lake Road City Greentown State PA Zip Code 18426-9735 Location Phone 570-676-0567 County Pike Region Northeast Pennsylvania Mountains Description 9 am—12 pm Meet @ Park Office Porch Give back a “Helping Hand to America’s Lands”. National Public Lands Day is an annual program bringing together Federal, State & Local public land agencies and organizations. Volunteers will be planting, working on trails & much more! Please pre-register. Gloves will be provided. Please bring water, wear sturdy shoes & old clothes. Activities Volunteers [Click Here To Register For National Public Lands Day Park Cleanup - 50 Openings Available] DCNR website —————————————————————————————————————————- Event Title National Public lands day Clean Up Date 9/24/2011 Time 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM EST Location Frances Slocum State Park 565 Mount Olivet Rd. City Wyoming State PA Zip Code 18644-9333 Location Phone 570-696-3525 County Luzerne Region Northeast Pennsylvania Mountains Description Volunteers are needed to join us as we pick up litter and debris along the lake shoreline as part of the National Public Lands Day clean up. Meet at the park office for bags and gloves. Contacts Kathy Kelchner Contact Email firstname.lastname@example.org Contact Phone 570-696-9105 Activities Volunteers DCNR website