Commissioner of Public Lands Expresses Gratitude for Volunteers on National Public Lands Day
News Date: 
September 22, 2022

Washington residents can visit state-managed lands for free on Saturday, Sept. 24

Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz, head of the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR), invites Washingtonians to celebrate National Public Lands Day on Saturday, Sept. 24, with a free visit to state-managed lands.
National Public Lands Day is considered the largest volunteer day on public lands. This year's theme is "Giving Back Together" to honor the role outdoor spaces played during the COVID-19 pandemic in bringing people together during a time of disconnectedness.
“The people of Washington have always been generous with their time and energy,” Franz said. “As Washington residents, we understand that we must give back to nature as much as it provides for us. I am deeply grateful for all efforts to protect, restore, and improve Washington’s lands and waters. I encourage this spirit of giving back, not only on National Public Lands Day, but throughout the year.”
From July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022, volunteers contributed more than 52,000 hours of service on DNR-managed lands and waters, equating to nearly $1 million in value.
In addition to accomplishing much-needed work, the value of volunteer time is also used to match grants from the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office. In the 21-23 biennium, the recreation program is using 38,000 hours ($720,000) as a match for 30 grants, valued at $4.7 million.
National Public Lands Day is one of 12 "fee-free" days offered each year, which means day-use visitors do not need a Discover Pass on lands managed by DNR, Washington State Parks, and the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife.
There will be three more "fee-free days" in 2022: Oct. 10 for World Mental Health Day, Nov. 11 for Veterans Day, and Nov. 25 for Native American Heritage Day.
National Public Lands Day is coordinated by the National Environmental Education Foundation and is in its 29th year. It is held annually on the fourth Saturday in September.
Stacia Glenn
Communications Manager