Washington, D.C. — Chairman Raúl M. Grijalva encourages citizens across the country to take part in the annual celebration of National Public Lands Day to be observed on Saturday, September 26, 2009.
Now in its 16th year, National Public Lands Day is the preeminent volunteer-based conservation event for public lands in the United States. This year, 130,000 volunteers are expected to participate at 2,000 public land sites across the nation, completing a projected $13 million in improvements to public lands in every state. They will plant native vegetation, clean up trash, restore shorelines and wetlands, repair hiking trails, build bridges, remove invasive plants, protect cultural resources and historic sites, improve wildlife habitat and much more.
National Public Lands Day keeps the promise of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), the “tree army” that worked from 1933-42 to preserve and protect America’s natural heritage.
“We all benefit from public lands. This is our opportunity to give something back,” said Grijalva, Chairman of the Subcommittee of National Parks, Forests and Public Lands. “In the spirit of inspiring national and community service, National Public Lands Day provides an opportunity for younger generations to follow in the footsteps of the Civilian Conservation Corps. As Americans, it is our duty to preserve the places that are an integral part of our national heritage and way of life for future generations.”
This year, National Public Lands Day is encouraging volunteers to learn how land and water are interconnected through a vast network of streams, rivers, lakes and other wetlands that traverse America’s public and private lands. Volunteers can protect our nation’s water bodies by monitoring water quality in rivers and lakes, restoring wetlands, preventing stormwater run-off and erosion, cleaning up trash from shorelines and learning techniques to conserve water at home.
First celebrated in 1994, National Public Lands Day provides an opportunity for Americans to enjoy and help preserve our nation’s natural wonders, owned by all Americans, through local volunteerism and public education projects, as well as free access to National Parks and historic sites across the country.
Official National Public Lands Day Arizona site projects can be accessed at http://www.publiclandsday.org/involved/sites.htm