Parks Offer Free Access on Public Lands Day

Plus 4 more of today’s top stories

NPLD is the largest one-day volunteer event for public lands in the United States. The day is meant to encourage cleanup and care for public parks and trails. (Eric Hossinger / Flickr)

On Saturday, the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Bureau of Reclamation will all offer free access to their public lands, according to a press release from National Public Lands Day (NPLD). The annual NPLD is the largest one-day volunteer event for public lands in the United States. It’s meant to encourage maintenance of public parks and trails.


NPLD encourages volunteers to participate in events that include:

  • Building and caring for public trails
  • Planting trees and plants
  • Collecting invasive plants
  • Picking up trash

This map by NPLD outlines specific local volunteer opportunities by state across the country. 

“National Public Lands Day is a great day to not only explore your public lands, but also an opportunity to take care of them by volunteering for one of the many programs available throughout the country,” Cristy Brown, management support specialist for Mesa Verde National Park, told Outside in an email. “Whether it is helping to clean up a beach, remove graffiti, or repair a trail, there is a way for everyone to get involved with taking care of these special areas.”

In Other News

  • Hiker Heather “Anish” Anderson broke the record for the fastest self-supported thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, as she posted to her Facebook page on Thursday. She finished in 54 days, 7 hours, 48 minutes.
  • The drought in the West continues. All of Washington and Oregon are in extreme or severe drought as of Tuesday.
  • The Southern Nevada Water Authority opened a third water intake from Lake Mead to Las Vegas on Wednesday. The tunnel draws water from the deepest part of the lake, ensuring the city an uninterrupted supply if the two intake pipes at 1,000 feet run dry. The lake’s water level was most recently measured at 1,080 feet. In June, it dipped to 1,074. 
  • On Sunday at 7:11 p.m. MDT, Earth’s shadow will begin to cover the moon in a lunar eclipse. Refraction (bending of the light) of moonlight will also cause the moon to appear orange or red, in what is called a “blood moon,” during the eclipse. This calculator estimates the best time to see the eclipse for specific cities in the United States.
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