National Public Lands Day 2016

Looking southeast across the mouth of Drakes Estero on April 22, 2013.
Join in and help restore Drakes Estero

National Public Lands Day
September 24, 2016

Various projects took place across the park all weekend, coinciding with one of the largest service days on public lands across the nation. As a special treat, each household or individual participating in the workday received a Fee-Free coupon that provides one free visit in the next year to any of the fee-charging units of the agencies that participate in National Public Lands Day (NPLD). Besides the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Department of Defense, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Forest Service are part of National Public Lands Day.

National Public Lands Day (usually observed on the fourth Saturday of September) is an annual event designed to encourage people to get outside and visit places such as Point Reyes National Seashore. National Public Lands Day is a national volunteer effort to encourage folks to give back to the very lands we use to hike, bike, swim, explore, picnic, or just relax. It is the nation's largest hands-on volunteer effort to improve and enhance public lands of the year!

National Public Lands Day began in 1994 with three federal agencies and 700 volunteers. Now, eight federal agencies and many state and local lands participate in this annual day of caring for shared lands. In 2015, about 200,000 volunteers worked at over 2,500 sites in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

Point Reyes hosted the following projects (click on the links below for more details).

Drakes Estero Shoreline Cleanup
Drakes Estero Habitat Restoration
Palomarin Trail Cleanup
Pierce Point Habitat Restoration (Sunday, September 25)

There were numerous other National Public Lands Day projects that also occurred around the Bay Area on September 24, 2016.


Drakes Estero Shoreline Cleanup and Habitat Restoration
Saturday, September 24, 2016

Shoreline Cleanup from 10 am to 1 pm

The public was invited to join Point Reyes National Seashore and REI to help restore Drakes Estero. From summer 2016 through February 2017, work crews have been working to remove an estimated 500 tons of marine debris in the estero. The public was offered the chance to help and ensure the legacy of this restoration effort by cleaning up the shoreline along Drakes Estero. From 10 am to 1 pm, volunteers combed the shore for any plastic, trash, or debris. Snacks were provided by REI, along with a raffle and other Centennial gifts for volunteers. Volunteers also received a fee free coupon, good for one free entry to any federal public lands that charge an entry fee.

Habitat Restoration from 9 am to 1 pm
The public was also invited to join the California Exotic Plant Management Team in their efforts to restore the ecosystem surrounding the Estero by pulling invasive Scotch Broom. This population of Scotch Broom is particularly critical because of its location near the Estero and the potential for spreading seed via increased visitation and proximity to a waterway. Volunteers had the opportunity to enjoy scenic views of the Estero, learn about the biology of invasive plants, and get their hands dirty!


Palomarin/Bass Lake Trail Cleanup
Saturday, September 24, 2016
9 am to 1 pm
The Palomarin Trailhead has quickly become one of the most popular trailheads in the park, often filling up on the weekends. To keep this trail beautiful, the public was invited to join park staff in cleaning up litter along the trail. Groups headed out as far as Bass Lake performing litter abatement on the trail and around the lake itself.

Volunteers removing cape ivy.

Pierce Point Habitat Restoration
Sunday, September 25, 2016
9 am to 1 pm
The public was invited to join the Habitat Restoration Program at Point Reyes National Seashore on Sunday, September 25th to help protect and restore endangered plant and wildlife habitat at Point Reyes. Volunteers had the opportunity to visit one of the most beautiful areas in the park and learn about local plant ecology while working alongside park staff to remove invasive cape-ivy near Pierce Point Ranch in the Tule Elk Reserve. Cape-ivy (Delairea odorata), a vine from South Africa, can cause harm to native plants, nesting songbirds, and fish.


The park also offered visitors the opportunity to experience tule elk during the rut (mating season) with our volunteer Tule Elk Docents on both Saturday and Sunday, September 24 and 25. Tule Elk Docents can be seen at the trailhead (Pierce Point Ranch) and along the Tomales Point Trail. Ranger-led programs were also offered at 1:30 pm both days at the Bear Valley Visitor Center.

Tule Elk Docents with visitors at Windy Gap, Tomales Point, Point Reyes National Seashore
Tule Elk Docents with visitors at Windy Gap on Tomales Point

Event: Experience Tule Elk
Date: Saturday & Sunday, September 24 & 25, 2016
Location: Tomales Point

Every summer, visitors have the opportunity to see the tule elk during the rut (mating season) weekends and holidays July through September, weather permitting. Docents are stationed at the Tomales Point Trailhead from ~10:30 am to 4 pm and at Windy Gap (1 mile north along the Tomales Point Trail) from ~11 am to 3:30 pm. Visitors have the opportunity to interact with volunteer docents who have binoculars and spotting scopes to allow visitors to observe elk rut behaviors.

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Last updated: September 30, 2016

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1 Bear Valley Road
Point Reyes Station , CA 94956


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