Friday, September 18, 2015

National Public Lands Day is Sept. 26; journalists encouraged to localize stories

National Public Lands Day, scheduled for Sept. 26, is a great time for journalists to write local stories about the importance of protecting public lands. The National Environmental Education Foundation created the event in 1994 to encourage volunteers to help clean up public lands and to educate youth about the importance of such lands, said a news release from National Public Lands Day. Diane Wood, president of NEEF, said in a statement, "Each year we ask Americans to set aside one day—the last Saturday in September—to lend a hand to the lands that we use to hike, bike, climb, swim, explore, camp, picnic or simply relax."

Last year about 175,000 volunteers participated in events at 2,132 sites in every state and Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Volunteers collected an estimated 23,000 pounds of invasive plants; built and maintained an estimated 1,500 miles of trails; planted an estimated 100,000 trees, shrubs and other native plants; removed an estimated 500 tons of trash from trails and other places and contributed an estimated $18 million through volunteer services to improve public lands across the country.

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