Celebrate Public Lands Day
National Public Lands Day, the nation’s largest single-day volunteer event for public lands, is coming up on Saturday, Sept. 25, and there are several local opportunities to get involved.
Since 1994, National Public Lands Day has been held annually on the fourth Saturday of September, bringing out thousands of volunteers to help restore and improve public lands around the country. It’s also a “Fee-Free Day,” with entrance fees waived at national parks and other locations too.
- Max Patch touchup. All volunteers age 12 and older are invited to help restore this regional icon of the Pisgah National Forest on the Haywood/Madison County line. Carolina Mountain Club, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and the U.S. Forest Service are teaming up to make the event happen. No experience is necessary to work with skilled CMC trail crews, who will be on-site to supervise and train novice trail workers. The group will meet in Asheville at 8:30 a.m. to carpool to Max Patch and stop work by 2 p.m. to return. Registration limited to the first 100 volunteers. Sign up at www.carolinamtnclub.org/eventform.cfm.
- Pamper Panthertown. A socially distanced hike and volunteer work project will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Panthertown Valley in the Nantahala National Forest near Cashiers. Volunteers will learn more about what it takes to keep the trails maintained and have plenty of time remaining in the afternoon to continue exploring Panthertown once the work is done. No previous trail work experience necessary. The group will hike about 5 miles roundtrip on easy-to-moderate trails while clearing the trail corridor and performing tread and drain work. Space limited. Sign up at www.panthertown.org/volunteer.
National Public Lands Day events are planned across the nation, with a full list available at www.neefusa.org/npld-event-search.