September 26, 2022 /
Christina Hester

Celebrating NPLD with Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff

Casey Trees is honored to have celebrated National Public Lands Day (NLPD) with Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff, Council on Environmental Quality Chair Brenda Mallory, and AmeriCorps CEO Michael D. Smith. 

This year, NPLD was honored by 10 Federal departments and agencies signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote, prioritize, and invest in equitable access to nature in deprived communities, which are areas or communities that have no access to nature or its benefits. 

During the celebration, a roundtable was held with officials from the Department of Agriculture, Department of Housing and Urban Development, the National Park Service, AmeriCorps, and other local organizations (like Casey Trees!) to discuss how to best put the MOU to work in helping provide communities with greater access to nature and parks across the country.  

Second Gentleman Emhoff expressed that the Biden administration understands the importance of outdoor spaces not just for the physical benefits it provides, but for the expansive amount of mental health benefits individual can receive from parks, green, and blue spaces.  

The discussion truly laid down the framework for everyone involved to collaborate, learn from each other, and engage more effectively in supporting local leaders’ efforts to improve access to and create, expand, steward, and conserve parks and green and blue spaces for current residents of nature-deprived communities. 

This MOU is a pillar of President Biden’s American the Beautiful Initiative, a decade-long challenge to pursue a locally led and voluntary, nationwide effort to conserve, connect, and restore the lands, waters, and wildlife upon which we all depend. 

In the spirit of putting the MOU to action, officials came together and planted trees from our very own Casey Tree Farm in Berryville, VA, at Ward 7’s Benning Stoddard Rec Center. Here’s to a cleaner, greener future, for all!