Highlights from NPLD 2012


Youth volunteers from MLK National Historic Site in Atlanta.

National Public Lands Day 2012 was a huge success.  It was the largest NPLD in the history of the event with 2,206 sites in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam. NPLD 2012 surpassed the previous record from 2010 by almost 120 sites. This year also had the most state and local participation ever.  The day was such an achievement thanks to the support of eight federal agencies, state and local governments, community gardens, schools, our national sponsor, Toyota and contributing sponsor, Northrop Grumman.



Key Accomplishments and Partnerships From 2012


  • More than 175,000 volunteers contributed more than $18 million in improvements to federal, state and local public lands.
  • NPLD received a Presidential Proclamation for the fourth year in a row. Additionally, 39 states and D.C. and 84 cities and counties proclaimed September 29 as National Public Lands Day. Read or download all the NPLD proclamations.
  • The Friends of Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites and the Friends of Florida State Parks partnered with NPLD to increase the participation of friends groups and state parks within those two states. More than 90 state parks were from those two states alone. 
  • The Great Maine Outdoor Weekend and Michigan Trails Week encouraged participation in NPLD as part of a longer celebration of service. This year had the most events in Maine at the local, regional and state level than any other year in the event’s history. 
  • National Public Lands Day partnered with World Water Monitoring Challenge to distribute water quality test kits to more than 70 sites so that they could add an educational element to the day’s activities.  
  • The Boy Scouts of America and the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. are long time partners of National Public Lands Day. This year, the Boy Scouts produced a commemorative emblem in honor of National Public Lands Day. Thirty-seven scout troops were event leaders of projects. 

  • NPLD partnered with the North-American Interfraternity Conference, the Children and Nature Network’s Serve Outside September and the Great Maine Outdoor Weekend to encourage young people to volunteer and visit their public lands for recreation. 


Breakdown of Sites by Public Land Category

Type of Public Land           Number of Sites          Percentage of Total     
Federal Public Lands 1107 50.2%
State Parks 355 16.1%

Counties, Park Districts, Regional Parks 

and Conservation Districts

176 8.0%
City and Town Parks 421 19.1%
Land Trusts and Nonprofit Land 61 2.8%
Military Land 44 2.0%
Schools 20 0.9%
Misc. Sites (unidentified public lands) 22 1%


NPLD in Your Town


  • Miami-Dade County had 11 county parks host events on NPLD, the most in the county’s history. They also produced a mayoral proclamation.
  • Memphis hosted a month-long city-wide cleanup at 60 different locations in honor of NPLD. More than 1,000 people are estimated to have participated.
  • Phil Hardberger Park in San Antonio hosted 500 volunteers to plant a 5-acre native savannah in the park. The event occurred alongside a farm-to-fork local food celebration.
  • The city of Orlando celebrated their third annual National Public Lands Day at Frederick Park at Turkey Lake with activities for families including an animal farm, biking, art, music, climbing and games. There were projects for volunteers in the morning.
  • Thirty-six community gardens hosted clean-up or harvesting events on NPLD including the Boone Street Community Garden in Baltimore, Md., Harold E. Smerdu Community Garden in Carlsbad, Calif., the Clinton Community Garden in New York, N.Y. and the Madison Area Community Action Gardens in Wisconsin.