National Public Lands Day

Every year, thousands of travelers use the amazing parks, trails
and mountains that make up the 600 million acres of public land in our country. This Saturday, volunteers will pitch in
to clean up these precious lands.

National Public Lands Day began in 1994 with three federal agencies and
700 volunteers. On the tenth anniversary of the event last year, almost 80,000 volunteers worked with nine agencies in
every US state. Want to lend a hand? There’s a map that links to
events happening across the nation. Volunteers who chip in to
protect our environmental and natural resources are rewarded with a free entry day to use next year at any public land

With all our attention focused on the gulf region, I decided to check on events scheduled down south. At least three
events in Louisiana have been cancelled due to Katrina, in
part because of campsite damage from the storm. Another reason some parks are closed though, is to allow displaced
evacuees to stay at park sites for free through the end of October. This means that all reservations for cabins and
campsites that other travelers may have made have been cancelled. But the
Louisiana Parks Office has promised refunds for the cancellations and
complimentary stays will be issued, once the crisis has passed.