National Public Lands Day fell on September 26th this year, just a couple of days ago. National Public Lands Day, or "NPLD" for short, is quite meaningful to our team here at Anderson Design Group. This is the day where Americans all across the country come together and volunteer their time to take care of public spaces, primarily federally protected parklands.
Established in 1994 and held on the fourth Saturday of every September, NPLD is traditionally the nation's largest single-day volunteer effort! This special day celebrates the connection between people and the green spaces, parks, forests, fields, mountains, coasts, and marine estuaries of their communities. Not only is this day special in that thousands of people from all across the country take the day off to volunteer in preserving our public lands, but this day also inspires environmental stewardship. NPLD works to encourage the use of open spaces and natural lands for education, community, recreation, and health.
How National Public Lands Day Began
Organized by the National Environmental Education Foundation, National Public Lands Day began in 1994 when three federal agencies and 700 volunteers came together to maintain, manicure, clean, rehabilitate, conserve, and generally service several National Parks and other public spaces. By 2010, participation in NPLD had grown to over 170,000 volunteers at more than 2,000 public sites across the nation.
Since 1994, the National Environmental Education Foundation has cooperated with other federal bodies like the Department of the Interior, the Department of the Army, the Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Notable Achievements on Previous NPLDs
National Public Lands Day is quite popular! And we can see why. Not only is it a good cause to volunteer for, but when volunteers arrive to help work on conservation efforts or park rehabilitation/upkeep, they are often given a free entry pass to a park of their choice. Not only does that help incentivize volunteer work on this important day, but it also encourages future park visitation.
Each year, NPLD sets a theme and accomplishes monumental volunteer feats at public lands all across the country. Here are just a few such feats:
- In 2008, NPLD organizers set a goal to plant one million trees in honor of the 75th anniversary of the Civilian Conservation Corps. The goal was exceeded by a significant margin, with more than 1.6 million trees planted!
- In 2009, NPLD organizers previewed a film called "The National Parks: America's Best Idea." The film was created to raise awareness of public lands and the importance of conserving them.
- Just on the 2019 NPLD alone, more than 156,000 volunteers worked together to provide 624,372 volunteer hours at over 2,100 sites across the country, performing work valued at about $15.9 million!
- One year earlier, in September 2018, Florida State Parks organized with NPLD volunteers to host 113 events to clean up 13,714 lbs of trash, a feat that was completed thanks to 3,952 volunteers putting in over 16,300 volunteer hours.
National Public Lands Day this year was a little different. Much of the events were held virtually, focusing on education and raising awareness of the importance of protecting public lands and open spaces.
There was definitely a silver lining here. Though volunteer efforts were not as extensive as in previous years due to COVID-19 precautions, the NPLD's "More Ways to Connect to Nature" was a great success in teaching attendees the importance of protecting and conserving public green spaces.
Nature lovers and volunteer enthusiasts alike can find out more about National Public Lands events for next year at the website for the National Environmental Education Foundation, or at the National Park Service website.
Preservation Through Vintage Poster Art - How Anderson Design Group Does its Part to Preserve Public Lands
Since Anderson Design Group formed in 2007, a significant force behind our artistic inspiration has been the National Parks, State Parks, National Monuments, and the thousands of public lands, nature preserves, and unique natural wonders that our country is blessed to have.
62 American National Parks. The 62 American Parks were designated to preserve some of America's most famous natural places. To celebrate the parks, Anderson Design Group launched a unique poster art collection, seeking to pick up where the WPA-commissioned artwork of the early-1900s left off. This series aims to conjure nostalgia through design, to lift our spirits, and to remind us of the beauty that is America's heritage in its natural, undeveloped form. The National Parks are each a National Treasure in their own right, precisely what NPLD was created to conserve.
American National Monuments and Natural Wonders. This poster art collection was dedicated to all of the beautiful parklands and nature preserves across America that are protected under National Monument, State Park, State Forest, National Forest, Open Space, or Nature Preserve designations. The collection of original poster art offers hundreds of unique designs of the public lands that NPLD strives to protect.
American Travel. Though the American Travel Collection features much of the cities and urban areas that have caught our eye over the years, this collection also features parks, coasts, lakeshores, monuments, open spaces, nature preserves, beaches, North American Wildlife, commons, green spaces, islands, marine sanctuaries, and other, undeveloped, natural areas across the American landscape.
We've sought to bring attention to every park and nature space we could find, and the above three collections are still growing! Our goal is to create vintage poster art and travel art of every preserved natural space in America, and to raise awareness of the importance of such lands in the process.
Furthermore, every year our team donates a portion of our profits to the National Park Foundation. In this way, every time you purchase vintage poster art or National Park art for your home or office (or as a gift), you're actively helping to support conservation efforts in the 62 American National Parks!
Vintage poster art and travel art fills us with nostalgia and reminds us of our own travels to America's public lands. We hope our original designs and illustrations do the same for you, and we hope that our art helps remind folks of the importance of protecting the lands that we all share.
Here's to another year of conservation, restoration, and love for America's public lands!
Anderson Design Group Writing Staff