07 June 2022

National Trails Day Recap

Written by: Vanessa Morales

Hey again everyone! Let’s talk trails.

National Trails Day took place on June 4th, 2022. The event was organized by NPS federal partner, American Hiking Society. National Trails Day is a day of public events aimed at promotion, conservation, stewardship,

and trail service taking place on the first Saturday in June. There was a wide range of events such as trash cleanups, birding walks, planting native plants and many more. National Trails Day is the nation’s largest trail event! Last year, more than 36,000 volunteers participated in events that added up to more than 36,000 trail event participants, more than 6,000 trail volunteers, totaling more than $681,371 in volunteer labor value. Not to mention the millions of people the event reached on social media (more than 45 million).

As a Communications Fellow for the National Trails System, much of May was dedicated to preparing our colleagues for this annual event. First, with help from our friends at the National Park Service Office of Communications, we wrote internal communications guidance for parks who planned on hosting events, and how they could best promote their event. We shared this guidance with the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management for their use, as well. We created several social media posts for the national trails and administering agencies’ social media accounts to share and we were able to bring awareness that way. I was able to present at service wide communications call about the event, too. Overall, there was a huge learning curve about how to offer guidance and awareness for a national event.

A portion of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail overlaps with the Los Angeles River at the Sepulveda River Basin. An organization called Friends of the LA River (FoLAR) registered one of their cleanups on the National Trails Day website at the Sepulveda River Basin, so I thought it would be the perfect event to get involved in. After a whole month of anticipation for National Trails Day, getting to participate in one of the events was very gratifying. FoLAR was extremely organized, and the event exceeded my expectations for a river/trail cleanup! It felt great to be able to clean up a river so close to where I live, as well as give back to the lands I recreate on.

Hope everyone else had a wonderful National Trails Day!

Agency: National Park Service

Program: Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Program (COR)

Location: Washington Office Region 1

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