Unique Volunteer Projects
Site managers have a lot of freedom in planning their National Public Lands Day (NPLD) events. Any volunteer project that benefits a public land area can be considered for NPLD. While a majority of parks focus on basic maintenance needs, such as invasive plant and trash removal, tree plantings and trail maintenance, some site managers utilize NPLD volunteers to complete unusual projects that might not normally get attention.
- At the Fisherman's Point Day Use Area and Shasta Dam in Calif., 48 scout troops and volunteers had extra help in their effort to clean up trash from the shorelines....goats! Five pack goats from the Shasta Pet Goat Group lent a hoof to haul trash. "The goats were exceptionally helpful hauling out trash on the steep shorelines slopes." - Sherri Harral, Shasta Dam.
- One of the biggest threats to the Everglades is the ecological damage caused by invasive animal species. During last year's NPLD, incoming freshmen from Palm Beach Atlantic University volunteered to reduce the number of invasive snails in the Everglades by removing snail egg masses from the marsh. The students waded through knee deep water with buckets collecting approximately 63,000 snail eggs. "For most of these students it was their first time visiting the Everglades—and even students from Florida admitted they had never had the opportunity to take part in a project like this." - Eric Gehring, Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge
- Fishing is a popular recreational activity at Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) dams. Unfortunately, many people are not trained on the proper disposal of fishing lines. At South Holston Dam Reservation, TVA staff hosted a trout fishing and conservation event to teach about the biology of the river, tie flies, learn to cast a fly rod and angling strategies on TVA land. Participants also constructed fishing line recycling bins to help reduce the environmental impacts of fishing.
- In Taos, N.M., local teenagers play a key role in recording the history of the native peoples that once lived in Mesa Prieta. Using GPS units and digital cameras, the young volunteers record petroglyphs discovered within the Bureau of Land Management's Mesa Prieta. This annual service project teaches valuable skills to the teenage volunteers and offers them a glimpse into America's history.
- The Army Corps of Engineer's Caesar Creek Lake is home to a diversity of wildlife and it is a frequent stopover for migratory birds. Each year, over a 24-hour period around NPLD, scientists, staff from the lake, volunteers and naturalists come together for a large scale BioBlitz to record wildlife currently found in Caesar Creek Lake. This project is very important because it provides a yearly snapshot of the park and allows biologists to track changes, areas of concern and the impacts of climate change.
Want your event added to the 2012 unique projects list? Register your event today!
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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.