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Voluntourism Spotlight: National Public Lands Day

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In this week’s Voluntourism Spotlight, we’re showing you how you can take part in national event while also giving back to your local national park. Volunteer with National Public Lands Day to help your community alongside thousands of other like-minded volunteers.  Check back every Wednesday for more voluntourism opportunities and tune into Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio on Saturday for more information.

National Public Lands Day (NPLD) is the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer event for public lands.  The event began in 1994 with just three sites and 700 volunteers.  Since then it has proved to be a huge success and is now an annual tradition on the last Saturday in September.  In 2011 there were more than 170,000 volunteers at 2,067 sites across the entire nation. Those volunteers were able to collect 23,000 pounds of invasive plants, build 1,500 miles of trails, plant 100,000 trees and plants, and contribute over $17 million worth of services volunteer services to improves public lands.

image credit via wikimedia, Tobias Alt

The event aims not only for the conservation of public lands but the education of these environments and how to protect them as well. Through volunteer work, NPLD volunteers gain a better understanding of critical environmental issues and the importance of vigilance and stewardship of our nation’s irreplaceable public lands and resources.

This year the event is scheduled for September 29, 2012 with events at over 2,000 sites. And get this…you can even volunteer at the Grand Canyon National Park. In the Grand Canyon, volunteers are responsible for restoration, invasive species management, and nursery maintenance in the scenic South Rim.  All participants are provided with an entrance fee waiver, lunches, water, snacks, eye protection, and work gloves.  After the workday, volunteers are welcome to enjoy the Grand Canyon’s Bright Angel Trail on a hike to Plateau Point or a picnic overlooking the canyon.

For more information on the event, visit their website.

By Collette Torunyan for