Fred Hsu

Green Tips – Celebrating National Public Lands Day on Saturday, September 28th

Green Tips | September 20, 2019

As part of National Public Lands Day, you can join volunteers across the country to take care of public lands near you. You can also pay tribute to our public lands by taking a trip to any of New York State’s parks, forests, or wildlife refuges. Check out our tips for an eco-friendly excursion.

Planning your trip

New York is full of recreational spaces open to the public, which you can read about here.  From Bayswater Point State Park in New York City to Maple Hill State Forest in Chemung, NY to the Adirondack and Catskill Forest Preserves, you can easily find a greenspace near you to visit.

If possible, take public transportation to your local park or forest. This will help reduce emissions that your car or flight may otherwise produce. If there’s no public transit option, try to carpool with friends or family.

Bring your own reusable containers as plastic bags can end up in rivers and oceans killing sea life, or tangled up in tree branches. Don’t forget to clean up after yourself and leave the land as you found it!

Be careful where you step 

If you’re hiking, make sure to stay on your trail so you don’t hurt any wildlife, including tree saplings, that may be underfoot. Trees shelter wildlife and help remove carbon from our atmosphere, which helps fight climate change. Also underfoot may be salamanders or frogs that help control biting insect populations and face their own extinction battles due to climate change. Also, avoid disturbing bird nests, or using weed killers in your garden that can not only seep into groundwater, but be ingested by organisms in the soil like worms, that are part of avian diets, and can decimate the very bird populations you set out to observe.

Visit somewhere old, but new to you

Lose yourself in an old-growth forest with ancient trees that you may not have visited before. One option is a visit to 385 million-year-old Gilboa Forest in Schoharie County. Gilboa’s trilobites went extinct 252 million years ago. As one of the first forests, Gilboa’s trees helped usher in an oxygen-rich atmosphere that made terrestrial life on Earth possible. 

Create new forests 

As the climate warms, plant species that have adapted to cooler weather will need help migrating north. Find out which plants south of you will do better in your vicinity, and you can help a photosynthesizing species survive into the next century. You will be laying the foundation for New York’s future forests! You can also take part in a tree-planting event in your community, where you’ll extract carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, replacing it with life-sustaining oxygen.

Spread the love 

While you’re visiting our public lands, post photos of wildlife on your favorite social media page. Make your friends and followers aware of which species need protection, and what they can do to help. Be courteous to your fellow visitors and allow space for everyone to experience the views of wildlife.

Be aware of busier trails and shorter days

As the leaves begin to change, trailheads and summits will once again be busy and days will continue to get shorter. Arrive early to ensure plenty of daylight. Pack a flashlight or headlamp and extra batteries with you on all hikes just in case.

< Back to Citizen’s Toolkit

Get Involved