This weekend, to celebrate the 17th anniversary of National Public Lands Day, CEQ staff, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, and I joined D.C. volunteers to help preserve the beautiful Aquatic Gardens at Kenilworth Park.
We spent the morning working with youth groups who put a lot of elbow grease into planting trees, removing debris and spreading mulch. By the end of the day an estimated 170,000 Americans across the country, working on over 2,000 community projects had made $15 million in national improvements, answering President Obama’s call to serve.
In order to protect our national treasures, we need to work together at the local, state, and Federal level and to build partnerships between the public sector and the local community. Improving our public lands not only enriches our natural environment, but gives Americans a place to exercise, relax and enjoy the beauty of our country. Our public lands belong to all of us. Let’s keep dedicating time and energy to making sure we protect and enjoy them.
Nancy Sutley is Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality