10 Ways to Help the Environment on National Public Lands Day


Volunteers at Rock Creek Park. Photo courtesy of NEEF/Jason Dixson.

The National Environmental Education Foundation is hoping to recruit an army of volunteers for the 29th annual National Public Lands Day on Saturday, September 24th. Spend part of your weekend planting trees, cleaning up a park or even washing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at the many local events taking place this Saturday. All events are free, but some require registration.

Wall washing at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
5 Henry Bacon Dr., NW
Early risers can spend the morning washing the wall of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The event lasts from 6:15 a.m. to 8:15 a.m

Potomac Conservancy shoreline cleanup
Gritty Point Park, Arlington
Help people Potomac Conservancy Make the river a safer place for residents. to register here to claim one of 50 spots to help collect rubbish on the shore. The event lasts from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m

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Public Lands Day at Lincoln Park
Between 11th and 13th M, NE and East Capitol St. NE and SE, DC
From 9 am to 11 am, the Friends of Lincoln Park will work with volunteers to pull weeds and pick up trash at this historic Capitol Hill Park, home to statues honoring Abraham Lincoln and Mary McLeod Bethune.

Kenilworth Water Gardens
1550 Anacostia Avenue, NE
Pick up trash, work trails and help eliminate invasive species in this paradise for water-loving plants on the east bank of the Anacostia River. You may get a little wet, so be prepared to work in shallow ponds. The event begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 12 p.m.

Improving the shore zones in Wolf Trap
1551 Fallenstr., Vienna
Learn more about the function of riparian zones—that protect against erosion and help filter water and keep it clean – and strengthen it at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. From 9am to 12pm, volunteers will be planting ferns that will help improve these zones while creating new habitats for wildlife. Email [email protected] to register.

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Public Lands Day at Lake Fairfax
1400 Lake Fairfax Dr, Reston
Join Fairfax County Park Authority Executive Director Jai Cole at this event in Reston to plant trees and clean up around Lake Fairfax.

Tree planting at the Mustang Trailhead
10702 Harley Road, Lorton
From 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., volunteers will plant native trees in the Meadowood recreation area.

Community tree care in Fort Dupont Park
Fort Dupont Park, SE
to register here to weed, mulch and water at this southeast DC park with the non-profit Casey Trees. Participants are trained on site and equipment is provided. The event lasts from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

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Forest and nature therapy experience
1900 Anacostia Dr., SE
Spend the morning walking the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail with National Capital Parks-East to deepen your appreciation and understanding of public lands. From 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., you can participate in a variety of mindful activities designed to connect you with Anacostia Park. Register here.

Weed wrangling in Anacostia Park
1900 Anacostia Dr., SE
Join forces with the National Capital Parks-East to remove noxious trees, vines and flowering plants in Anacostia Park. From 10:00am to 1:00pm, learn how to identify and remove a variety of non-native plants. Register here.

Peter Njoroge



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