On September 23rd—the fourth Saturday in September and the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer event for public lands—people from across the country will celebrate National Public Lands Day (NPLD) by getting outside and experiencing our awe-inspiring public lands and waters. Since 1994, NPLD has brought together hundreds of thousands of volunteers to help restore America’s public lands.
In 2022, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) hosted 122 events with 563 projects—more than any other federal agency. More than 8,000 volunteers came out from across the nation, contributing nearly 32,000 hours of service worth over $950,000 back to BLM-managed public lands.
As the official charitable partner of the BLM, the Foundation for America’s Public Lands is committed to carrying out the legacy of giving back and connecting all people to our public lands and waters to help sustain these special places for future generations. However, despite being the largest federal land management agency, the BLM has the smallest budget. It receives 79 cents per visitor compared to $5.20 for the National Park Service and $1.70 for the Forest Service. While many public lands agencies have benefited from having a foundation partner for decades, the BLM has not had the same support – until now.
That is why, as one of its inaugural program initiatives, the Foundation is partnering with the BLM to seek input on its Blueprint for 21st Century Outdoor Recreation, which establishes a new vision to provide exceptional and unique recreational experiences so everyone can enjoy America’s public lands and waters. By convening partners and seeking community input on the Blueprint, the Foundation is ensuring an inclusive process that helps address both current needs on BLM lands with an eye toward the future.
These treasured places are more than destinations on a map or scenic backdrops – they have something to offer everyone. Our public lands and waters are where we work, play, fish, hunt, and come together. They also provide resources for sustainable forestry, grazing, energy, and mineral development. It’s on us to ensure that everyone can benefit from all that these special places have to offer. The Foundation looks forward to working to advance our strategic priorities of access, awareness, and stewardship in the years to come.
To learn more about how you can get involved and for more resources on NPLD, visit: www.blm.gov/national-public-lands-day