Calendar of National Outdoor and Service Events
Prepare your 2013 calendar of volunteer, recreation and education events. We've collected a list of some of the most popular nationwide events that can help guide your programming and attract new visitors to your public land. Choose only a couple to support (such as NPLD), or try to do an activity for all of them! Many of these events encourage youth to participate, so plan ahead and invite a school, scout troop or church group to attend.
Important Volunteer and Outdoor Event Dates
- 21: Martin Luther King Jr Day of Service. National day of service.
- 15-18: Great Backyard Bird Count. Annual 4-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are.
- 18-24: National Wildlife Week. Education program designed around teaching and connecting kids to the awesome wonders of wildlife.
- Let's G.O.! (Get Outside). Month-long event to get all Americans outdoors in nature.
- 14-20: National Environmental Education Week. The nation’s largest celebration of environmental education held each year the week before Earth Day, inspiring environmental learning and stewardship.
- 21-27: National Volunteer Week. National celebration of volunteerism.
- 22-26: National Park Week. Celebration of the importance of the national park system to the natural and cultural history of the United States.
- 26: Arbor Day. Plant a tree and celebrate trees with educational programs.
- 26-28: Global Youth Service Day. Youth focused international day of service.
- 17: Endangered Species Day. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's 40th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act.
- 18: Kids to Parks Day. Every family is invited to take their kids to a local park and play outdoors.
- Great Outdoors Month.
- 1: National Trails Day. American Hiking Society's annual event celebrating trails.
- 8: National Get Outdoors Day. Event to encourage healthy, active outdoor fun.
- 22: Great American Backyard Campout. People across the nation will gather in their backyards, neighborhoods, communities and parks to take part in an event all about re-connecting with nature.
- National Park and Recreation Month. A month of activities focused on the importance of parks and recreational facilities.
- Serve Outside September. Encourages all Americans to volunteer outdoors (includes National Public Lands Day).
- 11: September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance. National day of service.
- 18: World Water Monitoring Day. Event that builds public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world by engaging citizens to conduct basic monitoring of their local water bodies. Official day to participate, but data is collected throughout the year.
- 28: National Public Lands Day. The nation's largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands.
- 13-19: National Wildlife Refuge Week. Celebration of the importance of wildlife refuges.
- 26: Make a Difference Day. National service day to help others.
- 14-January 5: Christmas Bird Count. The longest running citizen science survey in the country. Identify birds and collect data for researchers.
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Volunteer with Friends Groups
Friends Groups are local nonprofit organizations that support public lands. Many Friends Groups lead volunteer events to restore parks, green spaces and community gardens. Learn more about the over 200 Friends Groups that participated in National Public Lands Day 2012 and how you can get involved.
NPLD Supports Let’s Move Outside
Participating in NPLD is a great way to get the recommended 60 minutes of daily activity, while you lend a hand for public lands. Learn more about Let’s Move Outside and how NPLD is involved in the national movement.