Carl Garner Federal Lands Cleanup Day
This United States holiday promotes participation in federal land cleanup, observed the Saturday following Labor Day. The president will issue an annual proclamation asking citizens to take part in environmental activities and ceremonies. A popular cleanup activity is the Greers Ferry Lake and Little Red River Cleanup project in Arkansas.
Federal, state, and volunteer groups all organize cleanups of federal land, such as waterways, recreation areas, and other public lands. Other activities include:
- Beautification projects, such as wildflower field planting
- Litter reduction programs
- Safety programs—many federal lands require cleaning because of safety concerns
- The improvement of walking paths
- Maintenance of infrastructure on federal lends
- Promotion of the citizen’s sense of ownership: part of the reason why citizens are called upon on this day is because federal lands are seen as a collective ownership of American citizens
This holiday is named after Carl Garner, a resident engineer of Greers Ferry Lake in Arkansas. He also organized cleanup activities during the 1980s, which grew into an observance. The holiday was made official in 1985 by the Federal Lands Cleanup Act.
Around 28% of land in the United States is owned federally. Land holders include the National Park Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Bureau of Land Management, and other government bureaus.