National Public Lands Day – September 26th

Helping Hands for America’s Lands 

What a great tagline for a day devoted to volunteer projects called National Public Lands Day.

In the States we have amazing parks, memorials and monuments that are owned and shared by all of us. This great legacy ensures that future generations can enjoy our unique heritage so deeply rooted in the land itself. Saturday, September 26th is a coordinated national volunteer day with projects in parks large and small.

Coldwater Spring

In 2014, my family joined a restoration project at Coldwater Spring, part of the Mississippi National River and Recreation area. Coldwater Spring is a park in progress. The restoration will take place over time as plantings re-create oak savanna, prairie, and wetland habitats along a stretch of the Mississippi River. 


Tucked away behind the Minneapolis VA hospital, Minnehaha Falls, and Fort Snelling is a beautiful transformation of an old research site owned by the Bureau of Mines until 1996.

The first settlement of Europeans in Minnesota, Coldwater Spring is being reclaimed as a natural park with forests, meadows and a spring-fed creek that feeds into the Mississippi River. The goal is to restore the vegetation to it’s pre-settlement days.



Recently, I stopped back to check on the progress of our handiwork. The trees look to be establishing themselves and the grasses and shrubs hosted a variety of  birds, bees and other critters in the undergrowth.



The 2015 project will include more plantings and also seed collection. In the spring, Coldwater will be doing it’s first prescribed burn and replanting with these seeds.


Find a Project Near You

Here’s the national site for National Public Lands Day that includes a registry of projects across the country. You can also check with your local parks departments for events in your area. Or create your own project such as simply picking up trash in the park or taking the kids out to enjoy our public lands!


Do you have any plans for National Public Lands Day?