Celebrate National Public Lands Day 2023 Through Stewardship

While every month is “Public Lands Month” at The Mountaineers, this September we’re calling on all members to celebrate our public lands and waters by participating in a stewardship activity and earning a stewardship credit badge.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
September 19, 2023
Celebrate National Public Lands Day 2023 Through Stewardship
Mountaineers Foothills Branch members work on the Teneriffe Falls trail with the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust. Photo courtesy of Deloa Dalby.

Fall is here, and that means a new season of outdoor adventures on Washington’s parks, trails, and wildlife areas. Each September, outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers across the country celebrate our public lands by getting outdoors - from local green spaces to the backcountry - in observance of National Public Lands Day (and month). This year the Biden administration added a little extra flare to the 30th anniversary of National Public Lands Day by proclaiming this September National Wilderness Month as well.

Practicing low-impact recreation is a great start, but there’s so much more you can do to adventure with purpose. Whether you venture deep into wilderness or stick closer to home this fall, we encourage you to take some time from recreating amongst the larches, huckleberries, and migrating birds to give back to the lands and waters that host our outdoor experiences by participating in a stewardship activity.

Stewardship at The Mountaineers

The practice of stewardship brings Mountaineers together from across branches and activities to care for the places where we recreate. Throughout the year, our members play a hands-on role in protecting, restoring, and maintaining the lands and waters of our region so that they continue to thrive for future generations. Our volunteer-led Mountaineers Branch conservation committees work with outside partners to organize many valuable opportunities to give back to our landscapes through organized trail work, invasive plant removals, trash clean-up, and other activities. Our many small contributions can result in a substantial impact on the environment.

Whether you’ve participated in stewardship for years or are looking to get involved for the first time, there’s something for everyone. Most stewardship activities require no prior experience or knowledge. Tools and other equipment are generally provided, and there is sure to be a friendly outdoor enthusiast on hand to gladly show you the ropes. Think of participating in stewardship as just a different type of recreational activity, a great way to strengthen your connection to the land and find belonging outdoors.

Sign up for a Stewardship Activity

Participate in Stewardship for National Public Lands Day

National Public Lands Day is Saturday, September 23, and there are several opportunities to celebrate with your fellow Mountaineers by participating in trail work and other important stewardship activities. Our Foothills Branch is partnering with the Mountains to Sound Greenway at Garfield Ledges in the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Valley on September 23 to improve and complete the Garfield Trail. The Olympia Branch is celebrating National Public Lands Day on September 30 with a trail project at Church Creek in the Olympic National Forest, and our Kitsap Branch is sponsoring a stewardship trip to McCleary Cliffs on October 8. There are also several upcoming opportunities to participate in stewardship at one of our Mountaineers lodges. Can’t make one of these events? Check out our stewardship opportunities page for more events from local stewardship organizations, which are listed by county.

This spring, our Olympia Branch challenged the entire membership to complete this year's stewardship challenge by giving one full day of stewardship. Many Mountaineers courses include the Stewardship Credit badge as a graduation requirement, so taking the challenge is a great way to get a head start on course requirements. To earn this badge, individuals must complete a full day, or six hours, of stewardship through The Mountaineers or an outside organization. If you attend a work party that’s facilitated by an outside group, please forward your confirmation email to info@mountaineers.org after completing your stewardship hours to receive the badge.

September 23 is also a fee-free day for the national forest system and on Washington state public lands. Consider hitting the trail after your stewardship activity to extend your fall outdoor adventure. Thank you for caring for the lands we love this month and throughout the year.

Give Back to Our Public Lands