This Saturday, September 23rd is National Public Lands Day – a nationwide event established by the National Environmental Educational Foundation (NEEF) to celebrate the public lands that make up 30% of the United States. All across the country, public land sites will be holding special events where people can ‘give back’ by doing things like pulling invasive species, maintaining trails, picking up trash and more – helping to ensure our public lands continue to be beautiful places to enjoy for future generations to come.
The closest event to Fort Myers Beach will be held at Lover’s Key State Park – our neighbor to the south. From 9am-12pm this Saturday, participants are asked to join Lovers Key State Park Rangers and Volunteers to help maintain the park’s trails, remove exotic invasive species of plants, and pick up litter along the trails to help ensure Lovers Key is a wonderful place to visit and remains excellent habitat for the diversity of wildlife which inhabits the park.
“Consider that one-third of the land in America is ours- public land where we can all hike, bike, climb, swim, explore, picnic or just plain relax there’s a special joy in getting our hands dirty when it helps keep our land beautiful,” said event organizer Katie Moses of the Department of Environmental Protection. “National Public Lands Day is an opportunity to spruce up these lands while helping us get back to some of the places we love.”
Participating in the event – which is called a Public Lands Workday – is easy. Simply call the Ranger Station at 239-463-4588 to sign up.
Note: all volunteers must wear closed toed shoes. Refillable water bottles, sunscreen, hats, gloves and bug repellent are highly recommended.
According to their website – www.neefusa.org – NEEF is a “nonprofit organization that was chartered by Congress in 1990 to partner with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to advance environmental literacy nationwide.” NEEF’s vision is bold: By 2022, 300 million Americans actively use environmental knowledge to ensure the well being of the earth and its people. Through National Public Lands Day, NEEF works to connect people to public lands in their community, inspire environmental stewardship, and encourage use of public lands for education, recreation, and general health.
So give back by helping out on National Public Lands Day!
Keri Hendry Weeg