A spokesperson for the National Park Service said the events will be hosted in the Big Meadows area from Friday, Sept. 22 through Sunday, Sept. 24, with waived entrance fees on Saturday, Sept. 23, in celebration of National Public Lands Day.
Over the three days, guests will enjoy interactive workshops and demonstrations held by artists, which will be free and open to all ages.
National Public Lands Day is the largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands in the U.S., according to the service. The day was established in 1994 and “celebrates the connection between people and their parks, inspires environmental stewardship, and encourages use of open space for education and recreation,” according to the National Park Service.
Visitors can attend a volunteering opportunity at Byrd Visitor Center at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23. Volunteers will work in small groups to apply multiple coats of paint on posts along a gravel road surrounded by trees, with the project expected to last four hours, according to the service. Registration is required.
Alternatively, at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, visitors can join the Potomac Appalachian Trial Club — a volunteer organization that maintains the Appalachian Trial — for a hike, with difficulty options ranging from easy to moderate. The hikes are free and open to all, with no registration required.
Presentations will be held about the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) — a work relief program established in 1933 — on Saturday, Sept. 23, at Byrd Visitor Center. At 10 a.m. Saturday, Colette Silvestri, daughter of a former CCC member, will hold a one-hour walking tour of the Byrd Visitor Center and the original CCC Camp in Big Meadows, according to the service.
At 1:30 p.m. Saturday, rangers will lead a program at the Byrd Visitor Center about the origins of the CCC and National Public Lands Day.
From Sept. 17 through 30, Shenandoah National Park is also asking citizens to collect data about the spotted lanternfly — an invasive species native to Asia — by using the iNaturalist app. Logging where you see this invasive species in the park helps rangers learn more about their population. For more information about the project, visit iNaturalist’s website.
For more information on the schedule of events, visit the National Park Service’s website.