Volunteers across the state and nation will take part in volunteer projects, hike a favorite trail or visit a new park as they help celebrate National Public Lands Day on Sept. 24.
The 23rd annual event, created by the National Environmental Education Foundation, is a celebration of the nation’s public lands, from hometown parks such as Priest Point Park in Olympia, to state parks such as Kopachuck near Gig Harbor, to iconic national parks such as Mount Rainier and Olympic.
To encourage people to get out and enjoy their public lands, all federal land management agencies, including the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services and Washington State Parks, will waive entrance fees as they celebrate the day. A state Discover Pass will still be needed to access lands managed by the state departments of Fish and Wildlife and Natural Resources.
30The percentage of land in the United States that is public land.
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Some of the events taking place around the South Sound:
Mount Rainier National Park: Volunteers will work on trail maintenance in the White River area and help with a native plant revegetation project near the Sunrise Visitor Center. Bring water, a lunch, layered clothing, sunglasses, sunscreen and gloves. Meet at White River Campground 8-9 a.m. Groups will work until about 3 p.m. The trail work is best suited for teenagers and older. For information, contact Kevin Bacher at 360-569-6567 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Olympic National Park: The park has a number of events planned at the Olympic National Park Visitor Center in Port Angeles, Storm King Ranger Station at Lake Crescent and Kalaloch Lodge. Activities include a cleanup, weed removal and a chance to paint a picture at the visitor center; a hike to Marymere Falls, creating a reusable shopping bag and a salmon-run obstacle course at the ranger station; and a beach cleanup at the lodge. For details, see tinyurl.com/jpsztpr.
Priest Point Park: City of Olympia Parks in partnership with REI is hosting a work party 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Volunteers will help with restoration efforts along the mouth of Mission Creek and the newly built trail. Tools, gloves and light refreshments will be provided. Meet at Kitchen Shelter No. 4 at the park, 2600 East Bay Drive NE, Olympia. For information, call 360.753.8365. Register at olympiawa.gov/experienceit.
Sehmel Homestead Park: Assist with trail maintenance and removing invasive weeds. 9 a.m.-noon at the park, 10123 78th Ave. NW, Gig Harbor. Volunteers will receive discount tickets to the Cider Festival at the park. For information, contact Eric Guenther of PenMet Parks at EGuenther@PenMetParks.org or 253-858-3400, ext. 1222.
Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640
You can get details on these and other events at neefusa.org/public-lands-day.