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|National Public Lands Day|
Volunteers at Stones River National Battlefield
|Observed by||Public lands at the federal, state, regional and local level within the United States, the District of Columbia and territories of the United States|
|Celebrations||Volunteer to improve the health of public lands, parks and historic sites.|
|Date||Last Saturday in September|
|2016 date||September 24|
|2017 date||September 30|
|2018 date||September 29|
|2019 date||September 28|
National Public Lands Day is celebrated annually at public lands in the United States on a Saturday in late September. A signature event of the National Environmental Education Foundation, it promotes both popular enjoyment and volunteer conservation of public lands.
Three federal agencies and 700 volunteers launched the first National Public Lands Day in 1994. By 2010, participation grew to 170,000 volunteers at over 2,000 sites across the country, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories. In addition to National Public Lands Day being a fee-free day (free entry day) at many federally managed lands, volunteers who participate at federal land sites are rewarded with coupons for free entry into their favorite federal public land areas that have entrance fees.
The 2008 event featured an initiative to plant one million trees in honor of the 75th anniversary of the Civilian Conservation Corps. This goal was exceeded, with more than 1.6 million trees planted. The 2009 event featured a preview of The National Parks: America's Best Idea, which began airing the next night on PBS stations nationwide. The preview was sent to each national park on DVD and aired in their visitor center auditoriums. Other National Public Lands Day events occurred on September 24, 2011 and September 29, 2012.
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