Clarkson: Virginia Public Lands Day about celebrating outdoor spaces big and small
BY TEE CLARKSON Special Correspondent
Read the full column: Virginia Public Lands Day
“Virginia is incredibly blessed when it comes to our natural resources. Public Lands Day is a way to recognize those who had the foresight to preserve these resources and to remind ourselves that we, too, share in that responsibility. But more than that, I hope that Public Lands Day will inspire Virginians to experience these great resources for themselves, whether that is a hike in the mountains or a family weekend at one of our parks. Public Lands Day is an incredible way to come together to celebrate what is important to us as Virginians,” said Delegate David Bulova.
Virginia is home to 37 state parks, 63 Natural Area Preserves, 22 national parks, 24 state forests, and 41 Wildlife Management Areas which constitute more than 3.7 million public acres, but Virginia Public Lands Day isn’t just about celebrating the large tracts of public lands in the state, it’s about celebrating them all, from the smallest of neighborhood gardens to the hundreds of miles of protected public trails.
“These public lands provide opportunities to explore the natural wonders of Virginia, protect habitat, native species, viewsheds and our waterways — thereby not only vastly improving the quality of life for our citizens but also attracting visitors and supporting our economy,” said Molly Ward, Virginia’s Secretary of Natural Resources.