Tomorrow, September 26, 2009 is 16th Annual celebration of National Public Lands Day. Public lands are all of those lands that belong to the public such as parks, forests, grasslands, scenic by-ways and waterways. These public lands include state parks, nature reserves, national forests and parks and other public monuments. Each of these public lands have 5 things in common
1. They are owned by everyone and no one. Each citizen has a stake in its health but no one person can claim it for his or her own.
2. They are managed by our civil servants, such as local, state or federal employees
3. They are home to many wild creatures including threatened and endangered plant, animal, and bug species.
4. We are all responsible, individually and collectively for taking care of this land and its wildlife by not littering or removing necessary items from it.
5. These are special places that should be around for generations of ALL Americans and visitors to enjoy.
National Public Lands day is celebrated in nearly every community with a large public service event. The event keeps the promise of the Civilian Conservation Corps, the "tree army" that worked from 1933-1942 to preserve and protect America's natural heritage.
This annual event:
Then Sunday evening be sure to tune into PBS' debut of Ken Burns Film The National Parks: America's Best Idea
Enter the NPLD Photo and Video Contest 2009 or the Robert Bateman Get to Know Contest. It is a contest to encourage young people, ages 18 and younger to get venture outdoors and get o know their wild neighbors. Sound familiar?
Additional online sources:
Association of Partners for Public Lands: Engaging the public in caring for our nation's natural and cultural resources
Land Trust Alliance: Together, conserving the places you love