Thousands of local volunteers at more than 120 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) sites will participate in this year’s 18th
annual National Public Lands Day, Sept. 24, the largest annual volunteer hands-on restoration activity of its kind. Activities include clean up, repair, construction, refurbishment and other volunteer events in public parks, forests, rivers, lakes, wetlands, and cultural and historic sites. National Public Lands Day participation will involve more than 170,000 volunteers at more than 2,000 sites nationwide.
Volunteers at USACE sites will take part in tree planting, erosion control, bank stabilization, building trails, restoring recreation areas, trash pickup, removing invasive species and non-native plants, improving wildlife habitats, harvesting prairie plant seeds and rehabilitating playgrounds. Volunteering this year with National Public Lands Day is one way to answer President Obama's call to service and play a role in supporting America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, an effort to promote the conservation of outdoor spaces and reconnect Americans to the outdoors.
In 2010, nearly 150,000 volunteers nationwide pitched in to collect litter and debris; remove fence and invasive plant species; plant trees and shrubs; build and improve trails; and participate in numerous other projects on public lands and waters. At USACE events last year, more than 13,000 volunteers worked approximately 46,000 hours to remove more than 800 tires, clear litter and debris from 260 miles of shoreline, build 48 miles of trails, and plant some 1,000 trees and shrubs.
USACE has been involved with National Public Lands Day since its inception in 1994 and has consistently been one of the event’s largest providers of sites and volunteers. As the nation’s leading federal provider of outdoor and water-based recreation, USACE manages 421 lake and river projects in 43 states. With nearly 90 percent of these projects located within 50 miles of metropolitan areas, USACE sites provide a wide range of safe, affordable outdoor recreation opportunities close to home.
To locate National Public Lands Day events near you, visit http://www.publiclandsday.org/. For more information on USACE recreation opportunities visit www.CorpsLakes.us.