The U.S. Forest Service will join the public and roll up their sleeves for the largest hands-on volunteer effort to preserve America ’s public lands. The 14 th annual National Public Lands Day, sponsored by the National Environmental Education Foundation with support of nine federal agencies, is celebrated on Saturday and focuses on educating the public about natural resources.
“National Public Lands Day is a great opportunity to do our best to ensure that people across America have the opportunity to personally experience the great outdoors, whether it is in remote wilderness or in a spot of nature created and protected in the heart of our cities,” said Forest Service Chief Abigail Kimbell. “This unique learning experience of spending time in nature can instill an appreciation of natural resources that can last a lifetime.”
In recognition of the day, fees will be waived at hundreds of public lands recreation sites nationwide. The Forest Service will conduct workshops and recreational activities at 50 sites across the country.
Locally, the Forest Service will host two events. The first takes place Saturday morning ( 8:30 a.m. EDT ) at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens along the Anacostia River . This event will provide residents the opportunity to learn more about precious water lilies while making improvements to DC’s historic Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens . Forest Service Deputy Chief Joel Holtrop will be on hand to help kick-off the morning program.
The second event, coordinated with the Girl Scout Council, includes several workshops on the National Mall for more than 200 girls, ages 7 to 12 . Woodsy Owl will be on hand in support of the message ‘Lend a hand - Care for the Land.’
The Forest Service manages approximately 193 million acres of public lands across 155 national forests and 22 grasslands. For more information about the Forest Service, recreation information, and National Public Lands Day visit www.fs.fed.us and www.publiclandsday.org .