National Public Lands Day

National Public Lands Day

Sep 28 07:00 AM – 07:00 PM
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J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island will celebrate National Public Lands Day and Urban National Wildlife Refuge Day on Saturday, September 28, 2019, with a beach clean-up at its Perry Tract and a free film showing. The day, also a designated fee-free day by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS), will offer free admission to Wildlife Drive. 

All day long, Tarpon Bay Explorers [] offers 25% off all bike, kayak, and paddle board rentals and its 8:30 a.m. Guided Kayak Tour Reservations are recommended at 239-472-8900. 

A signature event of the National Environmental Education Foundation, National Public Lands Day promotes both recreational enjoyment and volunteer conservation of public lands. The FWS also celebrates urban refuges that day; “Ding” Darling is considered among the 101 urban refuges out of more than 560 total across the U.S. because of its proximity to a municipality and nearly one million annual visitors. 

Wildlife Drive opens at 7 a.m. for free touring and closes at 7 p.m. Narrated tram tours will run at normal cost and schedule – 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 3 p.m. Visit to reserve. The always admission-free “Ding” Darling Visitor & Education Center opens at 9 a.m. 

From 9:30 to 11:30, Refuge staff will lead a beach clean-up of its Perry Tract area adjacent to Gulfside City Park Beach. City parking fees apply. All participants receive a free nationwide Public Lands Pass good for one use during the year. Those who aren’t here at that time can post a picture of themselves on social media cleaning up a local public land, using #NPLD. Email the picture to to receive the free pass. 

At 1 p.m., Refuge staff invites the public to a free showing of the 56-minute documentary The Forgotten Coast: Return to Wild Florida in the Visitor & Education Center.