One of the best ways to highlight the amazing natural resources work that is being done at military installations throughout the world is to host periodic events. These events are an amazing opportunity for outreach to the local community, but also an opportunity to provide “inreach” to installation staff including service members and their families. These opportunities can be in conjunction with local events or as part of established regional or nationwide initiatives. Some examples are:
National Public Lands Day
National Public Lands Day, coordinated by the National Environmental Education Foundation, is the largest single-day volunteer effort for America’s public lands. Each year, hundreds of thousands of volunteers come together on the fourth Saturday in September to assist with various projects designed to restore and enhance public parks, forests, waterways and more. From trail maintenance to tree planting—volunteers of all ages and abilities roll up their sleeves and work side-by-side to care for public lands. Legacy grants are available to DoD installations to provide financial support for projects. For more information, visit www.neefusa.org/npld.
World Migratory Bird Day
World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD), the signature program of Environment for the Americas, is the only international education program that highlights and celebrates the migration of nearly 350 species of migratory birds between nesting habitats in North America and non-breeding grounds in Latin America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Each year WMBD explores a different aspect of migratory birds and their conservation. While the official date for WMBD in the United States is the second Saturday in May each year, this is not always the best time for you or the birds. For participants to the south, migratory birds may have already passed through. To the north, this date may be too early. We encourage you to host a program, event, or festival when birds are present and when it best suits your schedule! Bird day is every day! For more information, visit www.birdday.org.
Endangered Species Day
Normally held on the third Friday of May each year, Endangered Species Day is an opportunity for people of all ages to learn about the importance of protecting endangered species and everyday actions they can take to help protect them. Multiple organizations support this effort through education programs, art contests, and volunteer opportunities. For more information, visit www.endangered.org.
Earth Day is an annual event celebrated around the world on April 22 to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First celebrated in 1970, it now includes events in more than 190 countries. Future core components of Earth Day include food sustainability, citizen science, volunteering, education, and advocacy. For more information, visit www.earthday.org.