Celebrating Our Public Lands 2020 Style
I think we can all agree that 2020 has been a year of many challenges, requiring us to adapt and think creatively about almost everything we do. National Public Lands Day was no exception! Typically, we would gather with partners and tons of volunteers in person to complete a variety of projects on our public lands in the Middle Fork Valley. Due to COVID-19, however, we adapted this year’s event to focus on trash cleanup on an individualized level.
Heading into the week, much of the state was dealing with devastating wildfires and the accompanying smoke that kept us all mostly indoors. Then the rain came. Don’t get me wrong, the rain was a blessing to help with the wildfires, but it did make for a mostly soggy week of trash cleanup. But despite all of these obstacles (on top of the standard COVID-19 challenges), you all showed up in force to care for our public lands, and we could not be more proud or excited by your efforts!
We ended up with exactly 250 people who signed up to participate on their own throughout the week. We also had 27 partners on board to help support the effort, and our sponsors donated a number of prizes as well as five dumpsters for easy trash drop off. You logged more than 1,000 pieces of trash using the Litterati app, and there were many many more pieces not logged as well. A definite highlight of the campaign was seeing all of your photos and stories from out on the land, and we are sharing some of them below for you to enjoy.
We hope that you’ll continue to be a good steward of your public lands even after this week. Here a few ways that you can do that:
- Sign up for our e-newsletter to stay in touch and learn about future opportunities to get involved
- Thank your senators and representatives for passing the Great American Outdoors Act
- Commit to always #RecreateResponsibly
- Check out these guidelines for easy ways to help care for trails while you’re out recreating
- Consider donating to an environmental nonprofit (such as the Greenway Trust!). Your gift will help us conserve and enhance this incredible 1.5-million-acre landscape spanning from Seattle to Ellensburg by building and maintaining trails, restoring salmon habitat, planting trees, supporting kids in our environmental education program, and so much more.
- It’s not too late to share your experience and help spread a #LeaveNoTrace and #RecreateResponsibly message! Consider using one of these graphics we created just for National Public Lands Day.
An Incredible Week of Stewarding Our Public Lands
Sadly, we cannot include every photo here, but we want to say a giant THANK YOU to everyone who pitched in last week! We hope you are feeling inspired by the power of our community and the love we all share for our public lands. Together, we can make a difference in keeping them beautiful and accessible for many years to come.