National Public Lands Day is on September 24th and we're really excited about it. Not only are public lands the reason programs like Kids in Parks can exist, but they are the public connection to the natural world. They are places we can go to see plants, animals, rocks, and history that we might not otherwise get to see. We can visit high peaks or deep canyons and everything in between. It's easy to take for granted that these places will always be around, but we know they need our continued love and support.
Public Lands Day is a time for us to celebrate our wonderful public lands partners at the national, state, and local levels. Kids in Parks has a unique relationship with public lands, linking small city/county parks with huge national parks. When a family wants to go hiking, they aren't necessarily thinking about which public land agency they want to visit. More likely, they are looking for specific features. Is it close by? Will we see animals? Is there a nice view? Kids in Parks helps families to connect to parks managed by various organizations. Many Trail TRACKers visit a park for the first time because they found it in the Kids in Parks network.
This linking of different public lands together makes them all stronger. Smaller parks get discovered in the same network as well-visited national parks. Meanwhile, national parks draw in new hikers that start adventures in their hometown parks. At the same time, Trail TRACKers get rewarded with stickers and cool prizes for trying out new places. As far as we can see, everybody wins. With 143 TRACK Trails (and growing) and thousands of registered Trail TRACKers, that's a lot of winning.
This Saturday, September 24th, be sure to visit your favorite public land site or try a new one. Many public lands across the country will be free to enter. If you see someone who works there, let them know how much you appreciate the work they do. Be sure to register your hike if you're on a TRACK Trail and, most of all, have fun!
See you on the trails!