"This land is your land, this land is my land," Woodie Guthrie's lyrics are a fitting anthem for National Public Lands Day. Florida's state parks are preparing for the 2014 National Public Lands Day, a day filled with events designed to introduce people to the many amenities our public lands have to offer and to provide volunteer opportunities to be stewards of the land. The day acts as a springboard for year-round volunteer participation as people get to experience improvements to "their" lands.
National Public Lands Day was first celebrated in 1994 with the assistance of 700 volunteers. Since that first day 20 years ago, the army of volunteers has grown to more than 180,000 people nationwide and 419 state parks participated in various ways. Florida State Parks and Friends of Florida State Parks organized events at 79 state parks last year where more than 1,550 volunteers picked up litter, worked on trail maintenance, removed invasive exotic vegetation and much more.
This year a Memorandum of Mutual Support was signed by Diane Wood, President of the National Environmental Education Foundation; Donald V. Forgione, Director of the Florida Park Service; and Don Philpott, President of the Friends of Florida State Parks assuring all 171 of Florida's parks will be encouraged to participate this year.