Thank you to all the park and trail staff and volunteers that have helped keep our parks, trails, preserves and publicly protected lands safe, clean and open for people to enjoy this year.
During the COVID-19 outbreak, North Carolina’s parks and trails have offered a respite from stress and isolation. Being able to simply be outside for a few hours has given North Carolinians peace in a stressful time.
The state parks that stayed open during Safe at Home orders saw overwhelming numbers of visitors. Thanks to a beautiful spring, Carolina Beach State Park saw a 62% increase in visitors in April 2020 compared to 2019. This meant the staff had to work diligently to keep the trails safe and clean for everyone to use. Visitors did their part by picking up litter and social distancing, but the park staff were the true heroes in showing up to work day in and day out to keep our trails open.
All summer long, the often-invisible heroes of trail and park staff and volunteers have been maintaining trails, emptying trash bins, cleaning restrooms, and patrolling our parks. These behind-the-scenes heroes often go unrecognized for the work they do in the heat, rain and humidity. They are fount of knowledge about the land they care for and take deep pride in keeping it safe for you to enjoy.
Just saying a simple “thank you” the next time you see a park or trail staff member can go a long way. They are the ones ensuring that you can enjoy some of the most beautiful places in North Carolina.
Here are some simple things you can do to thank your park and trail staff and volunteers:
- Just say “Thanks” when you see them emptying trash bins or cleaning bathrooms
- Send a thank you note to the park or land conservancy home office
- Send a tweet or post on Instagram thanking the staff and volunteers and tag your favorite park or land conservation organization
Many members of the Land for Tomorrow coalition will be posting on social media with the hashtag #ThankYouNCParkStaff to celebrate parks and trail staff. Visit our social media channels to see reposts from members.
Many of these lands have been improved thanks to funding from the North Carolina’s conservation trust funds. Our state’s conservation trust funds ensure that the Clean Water Management Trust Fund (CWMTF), Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) and the Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund (ADFPTF) are fully funded to be safeguards for our beloved natural spaces. These funds enable conservation groups to continue working with our state partners to protect the North Carolina’s valuable natural resources. To learn more about these conservation funds, visit http://www.land4tomorrow.org/about/trust-funds/.