We are saddened to see so many lives being impacted by the current wildfires and smoke. Safety is a top priority for this event, and we encourage everyone to research potential wildfire dangers and/or air quality issues for their area before heading out to participate. Please exercise smart judgment and save your cleanup for another time if there is any potential risk.
Note On Washington Wildfires and Smoke Conditions
What is National Public Lands Day (NPLD)?
NPLD brings together hundreds of thousands of individual and organizational volunteers all across the country to help restore and celebrate the country’s public lands. These are the places people use for outdoor recreation, education, and simply enjoying nature. The lands encompass national parks, monuments, wildlife refuges, forests, grasslands, marine sanctuaries, lakes, and reservoirs, as well as state, county, and city parks that are managed by public agencies but belong to and are enjoyed by all of us.
NPLD is held annually on the fourth Saturday in September and was founded by NEEF (the National Environmental Education Foundation).
How can I participate in NPLD this year?
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we are unable to host a large in-person gathering as we have in past years . . . but that doesn’t mean you can’t still give back to your beloved public lands! This year’s focus will be on a simple individual action you can take to address a BIG problem: trash.
During our Love Your Lands campaign (Sept. 19-26), we are encouraging individuals to go out and pick up trash from your favorite public spaces. This could be anywhere ranging from your favorite neighborhood park, to a more remote hiking trail, and anywhere in between. All public lands are important, and they all need YOUR help to keep them beautiful and accessible for future generations.
You can also share your cleanup progress throughout the week and compete for a top collector prize by joining the Greenway Trust’s challenge on the Litterati app. Download our instructions here to learn more and get started!
What if I’m unable to pick up trash or don’t want to?
No problem! Picking up trash is just one way to show your love and appreciation for public lands, and we understand that this might not be the right activity for everyone. Here are a few other ways you can get involved:
- Thank your senators and representatives for passing the Great American Outdoors Act (from the comfort of your home)!
- Sign up for one of these other upcoming events: Salmon La Sac Historic Restoration Skills Workshop (Sept. 28-Oct. 2) or Teanaway Fence Removal (Oct. 24)
- Many volunteer programs have been affected by COVID-19, but you can check out ongoing opportunities with WTA, King County, and Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance.
- Consider donating to a 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.
Who is behind this campaign and virtual event?
The Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust is coordinating the Love Your Lands NPLD campaign together with the help of many of our partners. If you’re from a partner organization interested in getting involved, please send an email to Caroline Villanova (email@example.com). If you’re interested in sponsoring NPLD, please email Robyn Hall (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Please fill out the quick form below to ensure you stay in the know about prize opportunities and safety tips as the event nears!
Resources for Participants
Love Your Lands T-Shirt
Click below to order a special Love Your Lands shirt that was designed for National Public Lands Day 2020! The deadline has passed to receive your shirt in time for the event, but you can still place an order to be shipped around Sept. 21.
Trash Cleanup Map
Looking for a spot to help out during National Public Lands trash cleanup week? This is a map of known high-use or high-trashed areas if you need inspiration of where to go. Though remember, we are encouraging trash pickup on all public lands – so this list is not exhaustive! You may also want to have a backup plan in mind in case you arrive to find a location crowded or already sparkling clean (best case scenario!).
We wish we could be together in person , but since we can’t, we created a Cleanup Guide to help ensure you have a safe and enjoyable experience! The guide covers the following topics:
- What is National Public Lands Day
- What are public lands and suggestions for where you can go to clean up
- COVID-19 safety precautions
- What to pack
- Things to leave behind
- How to report an issue
- How to track your trash collection with the Litterati app
- How to properly dispose of collected trash
- How to share your experience and spread the word
- How to continue to care for your public lands beyond this week
Share Your Experience and Spread The Word
We know you’ll be working hard, but take a minute to rest and snap a few photos of your experience! Follow along with us on social media throughout the week for the chance to win prizes.
- Share your photos on social media using #NPLDtrash
- Follow and tag Mountains To Sound Greenway and any other organization(s) you’re part of that are participating in NPLD
- Don’t forget to wear your NPLD t-shirt if you purchased one!
Want to take your commitment to public lands a step further? We can all work together to spread the word about what it means to #RecreateResponsibly and hope that someday there won’t be so much trash on the trails that needs to be cleaned up! Click here to download Trash Tips from the Recreate Responsibly Coalition that you can share with your network. You can also download these NPLD graphics to share!