National Public Lands Day - Sep 26

Join us as we celebrate National Public Lands Day this September 26. This is a perfect opportunity to get outside and give back to the lands and waters we call home.
Regina Robinson Regina Robinson
Olympia Branch Super Volunteer
September 08, 2020

National Public Lands Day is an important day to celebrate. Established in 1994, it is the largest single-day volunteer effort generated around preserving and connecting with nature. It not only celebrates the connection of people to green spaces, but it also encourages and inspires environmental stewardship. While we adjust to our “new normal,” it’s important that we continue to support our public lands and waters. Demands on land and water are a continual threat to the spaces we cherish and value.

Conservation is one of the founding principles of The Mountaineers; it is extremely important that each one of us give back to the lands we use for recreation. I encourage each of you to volunteer, at least one day, at your favorite wilderness area.

If you do not feel comfortable getting together in a group, do not despair, as there are many volunteer opportunities that you can do from your home. I did not realize that the practice of ”virtual volunteering” dates back to the early 1970s with the launch of Project Gutenberg, a national volunteer effort to digitize and archive cultural works. As we embrace the “new normal,” the rise of virtual volunteering has opened new pathways for Americans to engage with public lands and waters without leaving home. Federal, state, and local land management agencies are increasing their investments in virtual engagement opportunities, and a large number of public lands sites across the country now offer virtual tours, historical reenactments, and other interpretative services online.

The Olympia Conservation and Stewardship Committee ask you to please support National Public Lands Day – volunteer!

Volunteer Opportunities for National Public Lands Day

Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust
Join us and our friends at Mountains to Sound Greenway to pitch in for public lands. This year, we've seen a major increase in recreational usage on public lands, which as led to an overwhelming amount of trash left behind. We're excited to share an opportunity for everyone to get out and make a difference: National Public Lands Day 2020! From September 19-26, we are encouraging members of the public to participate in an individualized trash cleanup, with prizes and giveaways throughout the week.

So whether it's your local park or favorite trail, grab a trash bag and your mask and help pick up litter on your favorite public lands. Learn more and sign up here

Mt. Rainier National Park
Each of you is a vital part of our team when it comes to protecting the resources and promoting stewardship of this fantastic place.

Mt. St. Helens Volcanic Monument
Mountain Stewards: Hike, climb, and help make the outdoors a safe and enjoyable experience for all who adventure.

Volcano Volunteers: Help visitors from around the world learn about the history, geology, and ecology of Mt. St. Helens.

Mt. St. Helens Institute
Volunteers build the connection between person and place by engaging and teaching people of all ages and help everyone enjoy and appreciate this spectacular volcanic landscape. 

Olympic National Park
There are many volunteer opportunities at Olympic National Park, from maintaining campgrounds to working with rangers to cataloging plant life in old-growth forests.

Washington State Parks
Volunteers are essential in keeping state recreation lands open. Dedicated volunteers help build and maintain trails, restore habitat, and clean up recreation sites. Many times, the hours volunteers put in can increase grant funding for projects that help sustain recreation opportunities now and for future generations.

Washington Coast Savers
Marine debris is degrading and poisoning our coastal wildlife and releasing toxins into our food chain. Help clean up Washington State beaches.

Washington Trails Association (WTA)
WTA welcomes everyone who wants to lend a hand and help out on the trail.

Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
We have many ways for you to get involved in caring for recreation experiences on DNR-managed lands. 

The Mountaineers
Volunteers have a meaningful impact on our community – join us as we give back to the lands and waters we call home.

Recording Volunteer Hours
Mountaineers are encouraged to record volunteer hours. Log in to your Mountaineers Account, then hover your cursor over your profile picture. The drop-down menu will give you a list of selections. Look for “My Volunteer Hours.” Click on “My Volunteer Hours”, then click the button that says “Add Volunteer Hours” to find the appropriate form.  

Thank you! You make a difference!

By working together to help conserve and protect the wild spaces we recreate in, we reduce our negative impacts on delicate ecosystems. When we manage and protect watersheds and wetlands we preserve valuable fish and wildlife habitats, help endangered species, and increase biodiversity. By preserving open and green spaces we can reduce air and water pollution. Volunteering to support one wild space helps to strengthen communities by preserving what we value most in nature: peace, connection, wonder, joy, shelter, and sanctuary from the chaos of our everyday lives. By committing yourself to at least one volunteer project, you are helping to conserve and preserve land for future generations.

Conservation is the protection of natural resources such as air quality, soil, minerals, plants, animals, and water. It’s caring for what all living beings depend on, and benefit from in order to live. Conservation seeks the proper balance and utilization of nature, by developing and maintaining a habit of sustainable consumption levels of all of our natural resources. It attempts to make our relationship with the environment sustainable. For example, brushing our teeth with the sink turned off is a choice we could make to support conservation efforts of local drinking water supplies.

Preservation is the protection of landscapes; it seeks the absolute protection of nature from use and exploitation. I believe we should have natural areas where nature is just nature. Wilderness areas provide enjoyment; why not make it an equally safe and quiet place for animals and plants, nature maintained purely for its pristine beauty and native habitats?

Nature has value in and of itself. Environmental conservation and preservation can work together so we do not permanently destroy the wild places we love. By being conscientious with our choices and volunteering, we can sustain our beloved recreational areas for future generations.

Given the current climate and state of our relationships with the environment, we have a lot of room for improvement. That is why it is vital to volunteer on National Public Lands Day, whether it be trail maintenance at Wynoochee Lake, picking up trash along a trail, or by having a conversation with a visitor about Leave No Trace principles at Mt. Rainier. We can each do our part.

Lead image of a tree Planting hosted by Mountains to Sound Greenway and Carter Subaru.