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National Public Lands Day Sept. 27: A Volunteer Opportunity

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Meryl Ann Butler     Permalink

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Sunset and bird in the Everglades
(Image by Public domain National Park Service)
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Sept. 27 is National Public Lands Day, (NPLD) an annual volunteer event hosted by the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) and always held on a Saturday in late September. The event was established in 1994 with three federal agencies and 700 volunteers.

Grand Canyon view from Pima Point 2010 by Chensiyuan
(Image by Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
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NEEF was established by the The National Environmental Education Act of 1990 as a complementary organization to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). NEEF partners with other organizations around the US in order to help citizens connect "to knowledge they use to improve the quality of their lives and the health of the planet."

National Public Lands Day at Stones River National Battlefield. Young volunteers collect native grass seed.
(Image by Public domain National Park Service)
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In 2013, more than 175,000 volunteers took part in NPLD events at 2,237 sites in every state, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico. In 2015, NPLD will be held on Sept. 26.

Carlsbad Caverns
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At participating sites, NPLD volunteers may also earn a fee-free day coupon that they can use for another visit at any of the participating national parks during the next 12 months.

St. Mary Lake and Wild Goose Island, Glacier National Park
(Image by Entered into Public Domain via wiki by photographer Ken Thomas)
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NPLD is a fee-free day to visit participating Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and U.S. Forest Service lands. These parks, refuges and range lands may offer free entry or waive the standard amenity fee for visitors on "fee-free days." Most of the locations offering fee-free day on Sept. 27 also offer one again on Veterans' Day, Nov. 11.

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Events in every state can be found online, (search by state or zip code).

Bureau of Land Management

The Bureau of Land Management, in conjunction with other agencies within the Department of the Interior, is waiving recreation-related fees for visitors to the National System of Public Lands including site-standard amenity and individual day-use fees at BLM recreation sites and areas on National Public Lands Day (Sept. 27), and Veterans Day (Nov. 11). These include sites in AZ, CO, ID, MT, NM, NV, UT and WY.

BLM Deputy Director Linda Lance invites "people to take full advantage of these opportunities to explore and enjoy their public lands. BLM-managed lands offer more diverse recreational opportunities than any other federal agency."

Other fees, such as overnight camping, cabin rentals, and group day use, will remain in effect. Check the website for details.

Devil's Tower
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National Park Service

The US has 401 National Parks. Most are free, but the 133 which do charge admission, will offer "entrance fee-free" days on National Public Lands Day, Sept 27, as well as on Veterans' Day, Nov 11. Fee waiver includes: entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees. Some other fees may still be charged, full info is here.

The parks include: Grand Canyon National Park (AZ), Rocky Mountain National Park (CO) , Everglades National Park (FL), Yosemite National Park (CA) , Glacier National Park (MT), Carlsbad Caverns National Park (NM), Wright Brothers National Memorial (NC), Steamtown National Historic Site (PA) , Appomattox Court House National Historical Park (VA), Mount Rainier National Park (WA), Grand Teton National Park (WY), and over 100 others.

'Five in the Roundhouse,' Steamtown National Historic Site
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Wright Brothers Museum, Kitty Hawk, NC
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Three National Park Service (NPS) Roosevelt homes in New York are included: Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site, Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site and the home of Teddy Roosevelt, the Sagamore Hill National Historic Site.

FDR's Springwood
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Teddy Roosevelt's Sagamore Hill
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Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site Stone Cottage 2007 by Rolf Müller
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A list of participating NPS parks is here.

The first National Monument in the US, Devil's Tower, WY, was designated on Sept. 24, 1906, by President Theodore Roosevelt. He had signed the Antiquities Act on June 8, 1906.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

America's national wildlife refuges is offering free admission to visitors on National Public Lands Day Sept 27 (as well as on October 12: The first day of National Wildlife Refuge Week, and Veterans Day, Nov 11.) There's at least one national wildlife refuge in every state. Find one close to you here. Check websites for full details.

Bald Eagle release by USFWS
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U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service social media links:

Facebook page at facebook.com/usfwsmidwest, tweets at twitter.com/usfwsmidwest, YouTube Channel at youtube.com/usfws.

Naturewatch program, Celebrating Wildflowers
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The U.S. Forest Service

Many of the Forest Service sites are free, although some require fees or permits. The Forest Service is waiving standard amenity recreation fees at sites nationwide on National Public Lands Day Sept 27 (as well as November 8-11 -- Veterans Day Weekend). Check the website for details.
Some of the activities offered by the Forest Service include hiking, biking, skiing, camping, birding, using cabins, driving for pleasure, harvesting mushrooms, and gathering firewood.

Readers are encouraged to gather further details from the links offered before traveling to participate in any of these events.

Recreation Fees and Passes Web Site

Zion National Park, 'Zion angels landing view' by Diliff
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Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing since she was a hippie. She began writing for OpEdNews in Feb, 2004. She became a Senior Editor in August 2012 and Managing Editor in January, (more...)

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