SF Rec and Parks’ Youth Leaders to Celebrate National Public Lands Day

SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department announced today that its youth leadership program known as Greenagers, will be leading park stewardship project and community engagement efforts to celebrate National Public Lands Day at Michelangelo Playground located at Greenwich and Jones Streets on Saturday, September 30th.  This is the 24th annual National Public Lands Day (NPLD), and according to the event host, National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF), it is the country’s largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands, which thousands of volunteers at public land sites across the county to give back to the lands where people play, learn, exercise and relax.  This year, the celebration is expected to take place at more than 2,600 sites across the county, and will likely draw more than 200,000 volunteers.

“In San Francisco, we are celebrating our public lands with Greenagers, our leaders of the next generation, and we thank them for their efforts of making our open space better,” said Phil Ginsburg, SF Rec and Park Department’s General Manager.  “The Greeangers will be beautifying our park and being our role models on how to care for our environment – we are very proud of their work and leadership.”

With one third of the county’s land is under public hands, community involvement becomes a crucial part to protect public open space.  Last year, NPLD volunteers saved taxpayers an estimated $18 million through volunteers who improved public lands across the county.  And just in San Francisco, last year, Rec and Park Department’s Volunteer Program contributed 205,000 hours of volunteer services, an estimate $6 million worth of improvements to City’s park system.

On Saturday, volunteers from coast to coast are scheduled to work to maintain and build trails, remove invasive species, pick up trash, plant trees and plants, and more, to ensure public lands continue to be beautiful places for all to enjoy.  Many NPLD celebrations will also go beyond volunteer events, hosting recreational activities like boating, hiking, camping, concerts, or picnics, as well as educational activities like bird watching and water quality testing.

At Michelangelo Playground, Greenagers will be facilitating fun family friendly activities such as pin wheel trivia and offering local fauna coloring sheets for kids.  Youth will be encouraged to participate in park stewardship projects.  Snacks and water will be provided.  This is a family friendly project which all ages are welcome.  For more information, please contact recparkvolunteer@sfgov.org.

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About SF Rec and Park Department

The SF Recreation and Park Department, overseen by the Recreation and Park Commission, stewards more than 220 parks, playgrounds, and open spaces, including two outside the city limits. The system includes 25 recreation centers, nine swimming pools, five golf courses and numerous tennis courts, ball diamonds, soccer fields and other sports venues. Included in the Department’s responsibilities are the Marina Yacht Harbor, the San Francisco Zoo, and the Lake Merced Complex.  The Department also manages the City’s iconic buildings and parks such as Coit Tower, Palace of Fine Arts, Golden Gate Park, and more.


About SF Rec and Park Department’s Greenagers

Greenagers, is a Youth Leadership Program under the umbrella of the Department’s Youth Stewardship Program, and jointly funded by SF Port.  It offers the City’s teens a chance to play an important role in the community by improving the City’s green spaces and raising awareness.  Greenagers work in various parks and open spaces citywide, meet with various Rec and Park staff, community members and partners; create place-based projects and or projects based on issues they are interested in. Participants will meet and work with teens their own age, collaborate with other youth organizations and gain crucial skills in facilitating workshops, networking, public speaking, teamwork, environmental education, and community engagement.


About NEEF and National Public Lands Day

NEEF was chartered by Congress in 1990 to partner with the EPA to advance environmental literacy nationwide. NEEF’s vision is that by 2022, 300 million people living in the U.S. actively use environmental knowledge to ensure the wellbeing of the earth and its people. To achieve its vision, NEEF offers science-based, unbiased information through its own communications platforms, as well as a network of trusted professionals and affinity communities that, with their relationships and credibility, amplify environmental messages to national audiences. NEEF also implements environmental education investments in areas that best connect with everyday life: health, weather + climate, and nature where we live, learn, work, and play. Now in its 24th year, NEEF National Public Lands Day (NPLD), sponsored by Toyota, is the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands. Through NPLD, NEEF works to connect people to public lands in their community, inspire environmental stewardship, and encourage use of public lands for education, recreation, and general health. Learn more at NEEFusa.org – or follow NEEF on Facebook

(Facebook.com/NEEFusa) and on Twitter at @NEEFusa. To contact NEEF about NPLD, please email lmcqueen@neefusa.onmicrosoft.com

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