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Public Lands to Get a Dusting This Saturday

This Saturday, tens of thousands of volunteers across the country will spend part of their weekend working to beautify the places that Americans go to enjoy the outdoors during the 11th annual National Public Lands Day.

Last year, the event attracted some 80,000 volunteers at 550 work sites across the nation and an estimated $10 million in improvements were contributed in what has been billed as the nation’s largest hands-on volunteer effort to improve and enhance public lands.

This year, NPLD Director Patti Pride is expecting about 3,000 volunteers at 20 different project sites in the Washington, D.C., area alone.

Among the local projects are cleanup and trail building efforts at the C&O Canal National Historic Park, beautification projects along the shorelines of the Potomac River’s Great Falls, and trail clearing and trash pickups at the Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens along the Anacostia River. Hundreds of volunteers will also plant trees and remove invasive plants along the Anacostia and help clean up and plant trees at Anacostia Park.

This year, for the first time, volunteers who pitch in at NPLD events will be rewarded with a free entry day pass that can be redeemed at any public land site managed by the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or the U.S. Forest Service.

For more information, including a list of local National Public Lands Day events that will take place Saturday, visit or call (800) 865-8337.

— John McArdle