Special events planned to celebrate National Public Lands Day

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CHEYENNE — Join us in celebrating the nation’s largest one-day volunteer event for public lands! Help restore, enhance, and enjoy Wyoming State Parks and Historic Sites across the state by attending an upcoming National Public Lands Day event in your area.

Established in 1994 and held annually on the fourth Saturday in September, National Public Lands Day (NPLD) is a national initiative led by the National Environmental Education Foundation.

This annual celebration brings together hundreds of thousands of volunteers to help restore and improve public lands across the country. NPLD is also a “Free day”—one of five days a year when entrance fees are waived at national parks and other public lands.

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This year, NPLD will celebrate its 29th year under the theme Giving Back Together.

“During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw an increase in outdoor recreation across the country as people flocked to the great outdoors to escape the confines of their homes and for the pure pleasure of being outdoors,” says Laurel Thompson, Outreach Coordinator for Wyoming Outdoor Recreation. “Wyoming’s state parks and historic sites have also seen this increase in visitation, and what better way to return the favor to the outdoor spaces we hold so dear than to participate in an event focused on improving, the restoration and vitality of our public lands?”

In honor of this annual celebration, day-use and admission fees will be waived at all Wyoming state parks and historic sites on September 24.

This year, 14 Wyoming state parks and historic sites will also host National Public Lands Day events from trail improvement projects, guided hikes, conservation walks, park cleanups and more. . Event details for participating venues are as follows:

Bear River State Park – September 24 10:00 a.m. Bike Your Park and 1:00 p.m. Trail Improvement Project, meet at Rendezvous Group Area. Take a walk in the park at 10 a.m., then help bring an abandoned trail back to life at 1 p.m. Supplies provided. For more information, please contact 307-789-6547.

· Boysen State Park – September 1-24 Month-long park cleanup and virtual stewardship challenge. Pick up litter anywhere in the park and take a picture of yourself in action. Comment on the photo on Boysen’s NPLD Facebook post and enter to win a local gift card. For more information, please contact 307-876-2796.

· Buffalo Bill State Park – September 24 8:00 am Park cleanup, meet at park office. Help pick up litter and debris in the free areas of the park. Map and supplies provided. For more information, please contact 307-587-9227.

· Curt Gowdy State Park – September 24 9am-12pm Park cleanup and 1pm-2pm Guided hike, meet at Camp Russell Day Use Shelter. Help pick up litter in your assigned area. Then, take advantage of your efforts at 1 p.m. for a guided hike. Supplies provided. For more information, please contact 307-632-7946.

· Edness K. Wilkins State Park – September 24 10am-12pm Conservation Walk, meet at Mountain View Shelter. Enjoy a tour of the park while discussing past shoreline restoration work and future conservation projects. For more information, please contact 307-577-5150.

· Fort Bridger State Historic Site – September 24 9 am Historic Fence Restoration Project, meet at main parking lot. Help remove the existing fence to make way for the restored historic fence. Gloves will be provided. For more information, please contact 307-782-3842.

· Historic Governor’s Mansion – September 24 10:00-11:00 Community garden cleanup, meet at mansion front door. Help clean up the grounds and clean up the mansion’s flowerbeds. Supplies provided. For more information, please contact 307-777-7878.

· Hot Springs State Park – Oct. 1 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. How to build a trail and guided tour, meet at the Hot Springs County Armory. Head out into the field to explore different trail construction techniques and paths that exist in the area. Lunch offered. For more information, please contact 307-864-2176.

· Keyhole State Park – September 24 10:00am-12:00pm Nature hike and park cleanup, meet at Big Kahuna in Coulter Bay. Enjoy a 30-minute guided nature hike, then help pick up litter and clean up fire pits. Water provided. For more information, please contact 307-756-3596.

· Medicine Lodge State Archaeological Site – September 24 10:00am-12:00pm Cleanup of park and preservation of historic cabin, meet at Red Barn. Clean up litter around the park or help remove damaged floors in the historic cabin. Supplies provided. For more information, please contact 307-469-2234.

· Seminoe State Park – September 24 10:00 am Prescribed burn and fire training, meet at South Red Hills Campground Kiosk. Join the Carbon County Fire Department for a prescribed burn and training opportunity. Time permits. For more information, please contact 307-320-3013.

· South Pass City State Historic Site – September 24 Run the Red Desert 5 hr 100k, 8 hr 50k and 10 hr Half Marathon meet at South Pass City. Run the Red is Wyoming’s premier annual trail running event. 5:00 a.m. 100K, 8:00 a.m. 50K & 10:00 a.m. Half Marathon. For more information and registration, go to runthereddesert.com or call 307-332-3684.

· Trail End State Historic Site – Sept. 22 12:00 p.m. – Sept. 25 3:00 p.m. Outdoors in the parks, meet at Trail End. This annual competition is open to artists of all ages and gives guests the opportunity to see artists in action. For more information and registration, go to TrailEndPleinAir.eventbrite.com or call 307-674-4589.

· Wyoming Territorial Jail – September 24 10:00-11:00 am Family Cleanup and Nature Walk, meet on the lawn near the Visitor Center and Warden’s Cabin. Help clean up behind the main jail area and take a walk on the nature trail. Supplies provided. For more information, please contact 307-745-6161.

Participants are encouraged to “find out before you go” and be prepared for weather conditions. Supplies will be provided at most locations; however, participants are also encouraged to bring their own gloves, if applicable, as well as water and snacks.

Learn more about each event by finding individual parks and sites on Facebook. We hope to see you all to celebrate National Public Lands Day!

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