To help celebrate RVi’s 40th Anniversary, team members from across the country headed outdoors on Saturday, September 24 – National Public Lands Day (NPLD). Sponsored by the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF), it is the largest single-day volunteer event for Public Lands and is one of only five days a year when entrance fees are waived at national parks and other public lands.

2022 marks the 29th year and this year’s theme was Giving Back Together. Hundreds of events took place with over 50,000 volunteers participating throughout the country and included trail clean-up, beach clean-up, hiking, invasive species removal, revegetation and other educational opportunities.

In Arizona, Natural Restorations hosted a trash clean-up at the Lower Salt River in Tonto National Forest. RVi-Arizona team members and hundreds of volunteers from the area combed the trails and paths on the shoreline of the Salt River. While filling trash bags, many of the volunteers saw some of the wild horses that roam along the Salt River.

RVi-Texas spent a “Day in the Dirt” with The Trail Conservancy, picking up trash along the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail at Lady Bird Lake. Volunteers were not surprised to find shoes along the trail. However, a scooter was the most unusual find of the day!

RVi-North Carolina headed out to the mountains and built stairs out of fallen locust trees on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. They also demolished old concrete picnic tables at the Mount Pisgah Picnic Area located off the Blue Ridge Parkway, which is a part of the National Park Service.

In Florida, the Seminole County Parks and Recreation Department gathered volunteers on the shoreline at Lake of the Woods in Maitland to help with erosion and nutrient runoff. RVi-Orlando team members were among 58 volunteers who helped plant 1,150 native plants and remove 42 bags of invasive torpedo grass and alligator weed, and two bags of trash. That’s a great impact on the water quality and wildlife habitat! Meanwhile, RVi-Tampa team members volunteered with the De Soto National Memorial in Bradenton, helping with trash and trail clean-up efforts. The City of Bonita Springs Parks and Recreation Department cancelled their local volunteer event due to incoming Hurricane Ian, but the RVi-Bonita Springs team plans to help City staff with post-hurricane cleanup activities.

RVi-Georgia also helped clean up the Chattahoochee River, where they teamed up with approximately 50 volunteers and the National Park Service. Among the trash was a fire extinguisher, which RVi team member Gunnar Lowe found. The volunteers agreed that it was the most unusual object found that day.

Thank you to all the volunteers from across the nation who contributed time and energy in helping to care for our public lands on National Public Lands Day. And thank you to all who recognized RVi’s 40-year milestone!

Click here to view photos from these events.