Celebrate National Public Lands Day in the PA Wilds
Did you know September 26 is National Public Lands Day this year?
The special day is not always on September 26; it is held the fourth Saturday of September each year.
The goal is to get as many people volunteering on public lands as possible.
When you think of public lands, perhaps you think of rolling, untouched hills… Or maybe you picture the many places used for recreation and educational purposes around the country, including national parks and monuments. The truth is, these places tend to be some of the most unique and breathtaking scenes in the world. Public lands are available for everyone to use. Some are frequented daily, others are quaint and untouched.
Public Lands of the PA Wilds
In the Pennsylvania Wilds, there are over 2 million acres of public land.
Once the former lumber capital of the world, the region is home to 50 state game lands, 29 state parks, 8 state forests, the state’s only national forest, 2 National Wild & Scenic Rivers, abundant wildlife, hundreds of miles of land and water trails, some of the darkest skies in the country, and the largest wild elk herd in the northeast. Natural resources are the heart of the Pennsylvania Wilds lifestyle and economy.
Explore the public lands of the Pennsylvania Wilds here!
Stewardship of the PA Wilds
Today, the Pennsylvania Wilds is one of the the largest expanses of green between New York City and Chicago. It’s a large region, and throughout history, it hasn’t always been easy to maintain. However, a century of concerted conservation efforts by many people and organizations have led to the beautiful forests we see today. In fact, all state forests and approximately 500,000 acres of private forest land in the Commonwealth are certified as “well managed” by the International Rain Forest Alliance, under the direction of the Forest Stewardship Council and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.
Stewardship of these public lands in the Pennsylvania Wilds has contributed to the region’s $1.7 billion tourism industry, while also supporting many people and industries who are able to make their living from the woods.
Learn more about the stewardship efforts of the PA Wilds here!
Public lands’ role in climate solutions
Join the Aspen Institute Energy and Environment Program in partnership with The Wilderness Society in celebrating National Public Lands Day with the launch of the report Public Lands, We the People: Creating a Healthy and Just Future for All.
More about National Public Lands Day
Coordinated by the National Environmental Education Foundation, there are a variety of ways the public is encouraged to participate. Consider volunteering on National Public Lands Day by working with officials in state parks, state forests, local parks, and your local communities to clean up litter, repair recreational spaces and walking paths, plant trees, etc.
You can also bring the effort home by ensuring pet waste and oil spills are cleaned up, thereby reducing storm water pollution. Another idea is to choose native plants for your garden, helping naturally sustain native insect and wildlife species. Learn about more ways to get involved here.
Be prepared September 25 next year and you can be the one encouraging people to get involved on National Public Lands Day, helping to make a positive impact on your local environment.