Connect to Nature by Restoring Your National Park


National Public Lands Day promotes the connection between people and the environment by inviting everyone to get outside and spend the day caring for and enjoying the outdoors.

NPLD is the nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands. Last year’s NPLD had over 100,000 volunteers, contributing 450,000 volunteer hours, or roughly $11 million in value of volunteer work.

Lend a hand in your national park with The National Park Service and Mississippi Park Connection by restoring the land surrounding Coldwater Spring to create oak savanna, native prairie, and wetland habitats. Volunteers will be planting native plants in a restored forest understory area to increase biodiversity and promote habitat for wildlife.

National Public Lands Day

This year, the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) is sponsoring Coldwater Spring as a highlighted site for NPLD, providing water bottles and sunglasses for all volunteers. NEEF also awarded Mississippi Park Connection with a stipend to help fund event operations.

Coldwater Spring is located between Minnehaha Falls Regional Park and Historic Fort Snelling. The historic Coldwater spring house sits at its heart, bubbling away and bringing in the ducks.

Coldwater Spring

Once an important crossroads for Native Americans and traders who used both the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers for commerce and travel, Coldwater Spring is now managed by the National Park Service, which is working to restore the area to an oak savanna prairie with blufftop woodlands and wetlands. Since it acquired the area in 2010, the National Parks Service has set about turning the former office park into a public park connecting an unbroken expanse of green space that stretches from Minnehaha Falls Regional park to Fort Snelling State Park.

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Volunteers at sites throughout the country will roll up their sleeves and dig in to trail maintenance and planting projects, trash pick-ups, river clean-ups, and other refurbishing activities aimed at restoring public lands and making them more resilient to climate change, invasive species, and other environmental factors.

NPLD is a fee-free day for all national parks as well as many state and local parks. Participating federal sites reward volunteers with a coupon good for another free entry to any public land managed by one of the NPLD federal partners any time before National Public Lands Day 2020.

NPLD is led by the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF), with support from NPLD national corporate sponsor Toyota, seven federal agency partners, hundreds of state and local partners, and dozens of nonprofit organizations.

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