Let’s Celebrate Public Lands Day at Deering Estate

Valeria Mejia

National Public Lands Day, a great time for us to connect with the environment around us. It began in 1994 and keeps the promise of the Civilian Conservation Corps, the “tree army” that worked from 1933 to 1942 to conserve America’s natural areas. It has become the nation’s largest single-day volunteer event for public lands, such as forests, grasslands, and marine sanctuaries. This year it falls on September 26 and it is dedicated to encouraging the use of open space of education, recreation, and health benefits. What better way to spend this day than with the Deering Estate.

At the Estate, there are many volunteer opportunities. The International Coastal Cleanup is currently happening from September 19 to November 1. Due to COVID-19, you will have to go either in a small group or by yourself. This coastal cleanup has the goal of collecting marine debris from Deering Point. In order to be part of this citizen science project, download the Clean Swell App to catalog and tally trash. Another opportunity is the Gardening, Weeding, and Adopt-a-Trail volunteer program. Here, volunteers will assist the grounds crew with maintaining the Estate’s manicured area and they should be able to work with basic gardening tools. To sign up for these events please email david.lotker@miamidade.govand for more information visit https://deeringestate.org/volunteer/.

The Deering Estate also works with partner organizations, such as Hands on Miami and Volunteer Match. With Hands on Miami, volunteers will be able to help with Butterfly Gardening. It is currently scheduled for every other month and it is a great activity to partake in for the long run. To register visit: https://www.handsonmiami.org/search. Volunteer Match helps volunteers participate in special events and activities at the Estate. They normally occur in the evening or on the weekend. More information can be found at https://www.volunteermatch.org/.

If you’re looking to appreciate nature and spend the day outside, there are guided tours offered at the Estate. On Public Lands Day, one option could be a Butterfly Walk at 11 AM. Home to some rarely seen butterflies, the tour will take guests through various habitats. There are nearly 40 species of butterflies onsite, including the Ruddy Daggerwing and Atala. Please note that the Butterfly Walk has limited space, so it is first come first serve. All guests must sign-up at the Main Entrance Gate at the start of the program.

National Public Lands Day is right around the corner so grab your family and friends and experience the natural beauty of the Deering Estate.

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