It's a Banner Year for NPLD State Park Events
National Public Lands Day is proud to have the support of 35 state park systems throughout the nation. From coast-to-coast, state parks are hosting volunteer events for NPLD, inviting new visitors and volunteers to their parks. Washington State has declared September 29, 2012 as a fee-free day, while the Pennsylvania and Kentucky State Park Systems are continuing their multi-year push to encourage their park units to participate in NPLD.
Below are four of the new state park systems that are playing a key role in making 2012 the most successful year in the history of NPLD.
This year, NPLD has a partnership with the Friends of Florida State Parks (FFSP), the nonprofit citizen support organization of the Florida state park system. FFSP is leading the effort to encourage Florida friends groups and state parks to host NPLD volunteer events.
This initiative has already proven a success. Forty-three Florida State Parks have already registered for NPLD this summer, more than tripling the participation in 2011. Volunteers will receive free passes to any state park, valid for one year, for participating at a Florida state park on NPLD.
The Friends of Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites work to raise awareness of the economic and intrinsic values of Georgia's greatest treasures. By engaging every volunteer, park guest and Friends member in meaningful experiences, the Friends strive to create lasting impacts on Georgia's volunteers and communities. For this reason, the Friends will launch the “Your State Parks” program on National Public Lands Day 2012 to promote and encourage the stewardship of Georgia's parks. Park guests and more than 20,000 Friends members will be encouraged to take the next step toward becoming volunteers, while current volunteers are encouraged to come back again and again. More than 40 Georgia state parks and historic sites are expected to participate in NPLD this year.
Inspired by National Public Lands Day, Michigan is planning a weeklong promotional campaign to highlight events and volunteer activities happening on Michigan’s vast and varied network of trails (motorized, non-motorized, and water trails). Michigan Trails Week, September 23-29, is a collaborative campaign developed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Michigan Recreation and Park Association (MRPA) and the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance (MTGA).
The week culminates on National Public Lands Day with a statewide volunteer work-bee and celebration of public lands in all corners of the lower and upper peninsulas. In downtown Detroit, the DNR is hosting the groundbreaking of the Globe Building “Discovery Center,” a 50,000-square-foot indoor exploration center for outdoor recreation.
This year, each of the 35 Virginia state parks will be hosting a volunteer, recreation or education event in honor of NPLD.
In addition to great involvement with NPLD, Nancy Heltman, Virginia state parks volunteer coordinator , was a co-presenter for the NPLD Social Media webinar on August 29. Nancy explained how the Virginia State Park system uses Twitter and Facebook to communicate with residents of the state and partners. You can find the social media webinar on the NPLD website along with other useful tools and resources designed for public land managers.
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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.