Part of Something Bigger:
National Public Lands Day Brings Volunteers to Rock Creek Park
A student volunteer prepares a native plant during the 2016 National Public Lands Day event in Rock Creek Park.
Washington, DC - On Saturday, September 30, volunteers will join Rock Creek Conservancy and Rock Creek Park to complete critical conservation work along Piney Branch for National Public Lands Day (NPLD). Participants will remove invasive plants and pick up trash in the area, which is designated as one of Rock Creek Park’s SOLVE sites, (Sustaining Our Public Lands with Volunteer Energy.) There will also be an (NPLD)-associated invasive plant removal the weekend before, on Sunday, September 24, at Melvin Hazen East. This event, as well as other volunteer efforts headed by Rock Creek Conservancy, are vital in restoring the health of Rock Creek and its parklands.
Last year’s NPLD events in Rock Creek Park attracted nearly 50 volunteers who removed more than 38 bags of trash and recycling as well as 6 bags full of English Ivy from Rock Creek Park. The Conservancy hosts many similar volunteer clean-ups throughout the year, mobilizing the local community to become active stewards of their public lands and waters. Due to constrained budgets, this type of volunteer work has become essential in the effort to protect the vital urban green space of Rock Creek Park as well as many of the lands across America that hold our history and natural wonders.
The events in Rock Creek Park are just one small part of the nationwide NPLD event, which provides millions of dollars’ worth of services in one day that would otherwise take limited park staff months to accomplish. NPLD, coordinated each year by the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF), brings together volunteers from coast to coast to improve and restore the lands and facilities that Americans use and enjoy every day. Last year, more than 200,000 Americans participated in events all over America.
“At Rock Creek Conservancy we make an effort to instill a sense of community ownership of our public lands every day, but on National Public Lands Day we have the opportunity to be a part of something even larger,” stated Matt Fleisher, Executive Director of Rock Creek Conservancy. He continued, “When we work together locally and nationally, a healthy environment is fully within our reach.”
More information can be found on Rock Creek Conservancy’s website at http://www.rockcreekconservancy.org/what-we-do/upcoming-events/2017-national-public-lands-day-volunteer-event-piney-branch-sept-30-2017.The public is encouraged to follow and participate in the conversation on social media using the hashtags ‘#NPLD’ and ‘#LoveRockCreek.’
About ROCK CREEK CONSERVANCY: Rock Creek Conservancy exists to restore Rock Creek and its parklands as a natural oasis for all people to appreciate and protect. As the only organization dedicated solely to Rock Creek and its parks, the Conservancy is uniquely positioned to foster outreach, education, and efforts to overcome threats to Rock Creek. For more information, visit www.rockcreekconservancy.org.
About ROCK CREEK PARK: Rock Creek Park, a unit of the National Park Service, comprises nearly 3,000 acres in the heart of Washington, D.C. The park offers visitors the opportunity to escape the bustle of the city for a peaceful refuge, recreation, fresh air, majestic trees, wild animals, and thousands of years of human history. Approximately 4.5 million visitors come to the park for recreation opportunities--including hiking, bicycling, picnicking, fishing, bird-watching--and to explore historical topics--including Civil War history, milling, Colonial life, landscape architecture--and much, much more!
About NEEF & NATIONAL PUBLIC LANDS DAY: NEEF was chartered by Congress in 1990 to partner with the EPA to advance environmental literacy nationwide. NEEF’s vision is that by 2022, 300 million Americans actively use environmental knowledge to ensure the well-being of the earth and its people. To achieve its vision, NEEF offers science-based, unbiased information through its own communications platforms, as well as a network of trusted professionals and affinity communities that, with their relationships and credibility, amplify environmental messages to national audiences. NEEF also implements environmental education investments in areas that best connect with everyday life: health, weather + climate, and nature where we live, learn, work, and play. NEEF National Public Lands Day (NPLD), sponsored by Toyota, is the nation's largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands. Through NPLD, NEEF works to connect people to public lands in their community, inspire environmental stewardship, and encourage the use of public lands for education, recreation, and general health. Learn more at NEEFusa.org – or follow NEEF on Facebook (Facebook.com/ NEEFusa) and on Twitter at @NEEFusa. To contact NEEF about NPLD, please email NPLD@NEEFusa.org.
John Maleri, Volunteer Coordinator, Rock Creek Conservancy