Category: Nature



    We celebrate National Eastern Box Turtle Week the first full week in May to praise the remarkable resilience of the Eastern Box Turtle.


    The entire first full week of May celebrates a resilient and popular reptile, commonly known as the Eastern Box Turtle. A subspecies of the common box turtle, the Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina) is native to eastern parts of the U.S. and radiates beautiful colors on its shell. Today, we want everyone to celebrate by learning about the Eastern Box Turtle.

    “Eastern Box Turtles are walking wildflowers of color who move forward with patient perseverance.”

    What is the Eastern Box Turtle? As a part of the hinge-shelled turtles, Eastern Box Turtles are not a tortoise and are mostly terrestrial. They are considered slow moving reptiles that live a long life and are fairly slow to reproduce. Their attractive appearance and gentle disposition are admired by children and adults alike. Sadly, Eastern Box Turtles are susceptible to high mortality due to the pace they move when crossing roads, or when trying to escape harm. Unfortunately, illegal poaching also contributes to declining numbers. In addition, habitat loss has also been an increasing problem for the Eastern Box Turtle and it’s survival.

    How can you identify an Eastern Box Turtle from other turtles? Eastern Box Turtles are beautiful turtles, especially the male species. Even though female Eastern Box Turtles mostly have brown shells, male turtles of this species have radiant lines of yellow, orange, red, or white on their shell. In addition, they also have very distinct spots. On occasion, the female species also has bright colors on their shells, making identification between male and female tough. Interestingly, the easiest way to tell the male species from the female is all male Eastern Box Turtles have red eyes.

    Interesting Facts

    There are interesting facts about the Eastern Box Turtle that are worth knowing. For example, Eastern Box Turtles:

    • Are the official reptile in North Carolina.
    • Can regenerate and reform their shell when injured or damaged.
    • Have fives toes on front legs and four toes on the hind legs.
    • Range in size from 4.5 to 8 inches long.
    • Feature sharp stout limbs with webbed feet at the base of the feet.
    • Tend to cool off in ponds, shallow streams, and mud.


    • Volunteer with a turtle Rescue team to treat sick and injured turtles.
    • Visit a turtle habitat.
    • Learn about Eastern Box Turtles.
    • Visit the TRT website to learn about Eastern Box Turtles.
    • Donate to a local vet clinic that treats injured and sick turtles.
    • Share your support on social media using #NationalEasternBoxTurtleWeek.


    National Day Calendar began working with Bruce Worf to form National Eastern Box Turtle Week in 2022. Each year during the first week in May, we will celebrate this reptile holiday. The week also honors the work of the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine Turtle Rescue Team. The Turtle Rescue Team (TRT) is a veterinary student-run organization that treats native, sick, and injured wild turtles. Eastern box turtles make up the majority of the patients treated.

    Turtle Rescue Team

    The TRT was founded in early 1996 by Dr. Gregory Lewbart and has been treating over 500 turtle patients in recent years. Dr. Lewbart, Professor of Aquatic, Wildlife, and Zoological Medicine is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in these fields of Veterinary Medicine. He provides expert advice and supervision to veterinary students rotating through the clinic with the help of Zoological Medicine Research Specialist, Kent Passingham.

    After a generous donation by wildlife rehabilitator, Linda Henis, TRT has expanded significantly. The clinic has consultations and diagnostic equipment provided by NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital to allow students the opportunity to work, diagnose, and treat turtles with state-of-the-art equipment.

    Dr. Bruce Worf, a physician and longtime sponsor of the TRT, with the help of Representative Rosa Gill, spearheaded the effort to get the North Carolina Legislature to designate the TRT as a Special License Plate, featuring the TRT logo, an Eastern Box Turtle with a Red Cross adorning it’s shell. In addition, Niki Theobald, Development Director, NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine also supported the creation of a NEBTW to honor the work of the TRT.

    Other Achievements

    Students at TRT:

    • Contribute to published research on their turtle patients.
    • Participate in various Outreach Programs with North Carolina museums, aquariums, and parks.
    • Established the Turtle Ally Certification Program to help veterinarians across North Carolina improve their skills in treating injured native wild turtles.
    • Volunteer in a very successful anti-poaching operation that results in a significant period of incarceration and legal sanctions for a poacher of wild turtles in North Carolina.

    Dr. Bruce Worf also contributed to founding National Megalodon Day, which is celebrated June 15 each year.




    On October 1 we celebrate National Green City Day to highlight the progress and innovations cities are making to become more sustainable.


    There are so many exciting innovations that cities across the country are implementing to become eco-friendly. This National Day gives everyone the chance to highlight milestones addressing the issue of climate change. The day also encourages people to share various eco-friendly ideas and solutions to meet the need of sustainable urban planning.

    What is a green city? Also known as a sustainable city, a green city is a city that is addressing social, environmental, and economic impacts through building eco-friendly alternatives by removing harmful chemicals and waste from communities. While ways to help the planet is essential to sustainability, reducing costs and creating a vibrant culture for citizens are equally important. Through planned infrastructure, green cities can leave behind a net zero footprint for a more sustainable world and create vibrant, healthier spaces for everyone.

    Why are green cities important? According to a recent UN report, around 2.5 billion more people will be living in cities by 2050, highlighting the need for sustainable urban planning and public services. Green cities:

    • Lower emissions.
    • Conserve energy.
    • Reduce waste.
    • Ensure rich biodiversity.
    • Increase housing density and improve public health.
    • Encourage the development of sustainable local businesses.

    Becoming A Green City

    Cities across the world are implementing changes to become more eco-friendly for future generations. As population increases, so does the emission of pollution. By supporting efforts and everyone doing their part, cities are learning to live more sustainably and preserve their natural resources. The future is urban and sustainability is the way forward.

    Urban Green Spaces

    Maintaining parks, wetlands, open green spaces, hiking trails, community, and rooftop gardens are all ways to bring nature into the city. Fortunately, cities have dedicated green spaces that bridge the gap between urban and natural environments. Urban green spaces can boost mental/physical health while reducing the effects of heat, pollution, and traffic noise. These spaces also support greater urban biodiversity by providing safe refuge and food for local wildlife.


    Improving transportation options in a city promotes green city living. Cities can repair or create new bike paths to encourage biking to destinations rather than driving. Public transportation companies can support green living by investing in clean technology for trains and buses. In addition, public transportation can reevaluate their routes to meet the needs of pollution laws and still serve commuters effectively.

    Solar Energy

    Increasing use of solar panels to produce energy will reduce the number of emissions from fossil fuels. They can also help alleviate the damage of smog, acid rain, and contaminated water sources. In addition, renewable energy projects increase city resilience by reducing dependence on the grid in times of natural disasters. In fact, many cities are offering bulk purchasing options, lowering the cost for everyone involved.

    Waste Management

    For a city to be successful at becoming a green city, urban dwellers must participate in the process and rethink buying habits. Several cities have already banned the use of plastic straws, plastic bags, and plastic foam products (Styrofoam). You can help by reducing your household plastic consumption and reusing as much as possible. When recycling, remember to place your items in the appropriate bins. The most successful green cities have reliable drop-off locations that are not only convenient, but easy to access. Green cities have location drop offs for:

    • Paper
    • Plastic
    • Cans
    • Electronics
    • Food waste


    • Bike to work to save money, time, and the environment.
    • Green your rooftop or balcony by adding plants.
    • Create outdoor spaces to promote physical activity.
    • Shop at a farmers’ market or start a community garden in your neighborhood.
    • Support preservation of natural habitats and landscapes.
    • Make a plan to go plastic-free.
    • Carpool to reduce vehicle emissions.
    • Enjoy an outdoor picnic and collect natural items that can be used for a fun art project.
    • Organize your own event at a local park and celebrate all the ways your city is going green.
    • Recycle and reuse.
    • Volunteer to clean up your local park or waterways
    • Start a movement to build a green city block.
    • Share and tag #NationalGreenCityDay on ways you are contributing to a more sustainable world.

    More Eco-Friendly Ideas


    In 2022, Mio Reggio LLC founder Monica Tierney and National Day Calendar collaborated to create National Green City Day. The day promotes the progress cities are making to become more sustainable and eco-friendly.

    Mio Reggio LLC is a company that provides educational materials and blocks for children ages 3 and up. Their mission is to connect children to sustainability and creativity through open-ended play. Mio Reggio products support sensory development, spatial awareness, and a connection to nature.

    According to Mio Reggio LLC, children today rarely explore outdoors and are missing out on an appreciation for nature. Children who spend time outside develop better:

    • Cognitive skills
    • Physical strength
    • Emotional skills
    • Mental health
    • Creative ideas and critical thinking
    • Self-regulation
    • Verbal development

    Mio Reggio believes in children’s role as global citizens and their ability to give shape to the green city movement. We are all citizens of a city.

    The city, which is both theirs and ours, is a place always in the process of becoming. We should not resist the new, attempting to preserve a world that we know is destined to disappear….what we can do, and in a certain way, must do, together with the children, is to give shape to this evolution. ~Carla Rinaldi

    Good Housekeeping awarded Mio Reggio LLC the 2021 Good Housekeeping Sustainable Innovation Award for their Green City Blocks product. They have currently listed them as one of the 25 green companies to know.



    Every year on March 18th, Global Recycling Day invites everyone to look at their trash in a different way. The initiative serves as a reminder that much of our trash is reusable, recyclable or not really trash at all.

    Worldwide we dump an astonishing 2.12 billion tons of waste. That number includes food, electronics, paper waste, and much more. Eventually, there will be no place to put it all if we don’t develop creative solutions to eliminate and reduce waste.

    Communities, organizations, businesses, and individuals promote recycling, reusing, and repurposing items. They also host competitions inspiring a wealth of recycling know-how. It’s an opportunity to develop new ways to use old things and make it a regular habit.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #GlobalRecyclingDay

    • Host an event in your community.
    • Develop new ways to reuse, recycle and repurpose what we already have.
    • Start composting fruit and vegetable scraps.
    • Learn food preservation.
    • Start recycling cans, paper, and plastic.
    • Encourage your community leaders to implement and support recycling.
    • Examine your trash. How can you change what you throw to reduce your waste’s impact on the Earth?
    • Visit the Bureau of International Recycling for more information.
    • Share your experiences using #GlobalRecyclingDay.


    The Bureau of International Recycling established Global Recycling Day in 2018. That same year, the United Nation Industrial Development Organization recognized the event. Since then, organizations around the world have joined the observance by supporting events that increase awareness and encourage international cooperation that will help to reduce the amount of waste we produce.




    Each year during the week of June 30 through July 6, we honor those men and women who lost their lives battling wildland fires.


    Wildland firefighters are highly trained emergency responders. Every year they respond to tens of thousands of wildland fires. These American heroes run toward danger to protect human life and precious forests and wildlands. Wildland Firefighter Week of Remembrance honors those wildland firefighters who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Crews and organizations make every effort to protect those who protect us, but our heroes sometimes fall.

    Heroic Devastation

    On July 6, 1994, a fire on Storm King Mountain in Colorado claimed the lives of 14 firefighters. Wildland fires additionally claimed 35 firefighters. In 2013, a wildfire at Yarnell Hill, Arizona, claimed the lives of 19 members of the Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew. These two devastating examples demonstrate the power wildfires hold and the loss they leave behind. The two pivotal events in wildland fire history also mark the beginning and end of the Wildland Firefighter Week of Remembrance.

    Wildland firefighters put themselves at risk every time they step near a wildfire. The bravery it takes to leave their families behind to protect the lives of others is monumental. Unfortunately, not all wildland firefighters make it home. Wildland Firefighter Week of Remembrance is a reminder for all of us to remember those who were unable to return home to their families.

    Dedication and Determination

    The sacrifice of a firefighter is not just the task of confronting disaster. It takes a lot of hard, rigorous training to become a firefighter. Each firefighter must enroll and successfully complete fire school training, which is essentially a boot camp for a firefighter. While they are trained to fight fires, firefighters often work 24-hour shifts, provide medical care, instructing children on fire safety and doing much more than fighting fires.

    Protecting human life is one piece of the puzzle for a wildland firefighter. These hardworking men and women also protect the planet we live in and its valuable resources. Wildland fires tend to destroy everything in their paths, including vegetation, wildlife, and trees. So far in 2022, more than 4 million acres of ecosystems have been burned in the U.S. alone.

    Ecosystem Destruction

    The ecosystems wildfires destroy can be severely transformed after a fire. Since important vegetation that composes an ecosystem is burned, erosion can occur. This erosion affects the soil, as well as the vegetation that grows in this ecosystem. A once biodiverse ecosystem can become the complete opposite of that after a wildfire. Weak plants and trees that survive a fire face exposure to other threats such as fungus and disease. Problems can continue, even long after the fire is treated.

    The survival of the animals that inhabit these ecosystems are also threatened. Not only can they lose their homes, but they also lose their main sources for food. Many different species are threatened by wildfires. Wild animals have a keen sense of smell, often smelling a fire and fleeing from the area. However, when a wildfire destroys entire forest and land areas, the animals relocate to places fit their needs for survival. Many times, animals roam into neighboring towns and cities forging for food or because their sense of loss causes confusion.

    The amount of damage wildland wildfires cause to both humans, animals and nature is devastating. However, the numbers and statistics would be much higher if it weren’t for the brave firefighters that risk their lives to put them out.


    July 2 honors the personnel who coordinate their efforts to protect the nation’s wildlands. It’s also a day to remember the sacrifice made each time a firefighter steps into a wildland fire.

    Which agencies comprise of the nation’s wildland fire community and partners at the National Interagency Fire Center?

    Wildfire Prevention and Preparedness


    • Create defensible space around your home.
    • Harden your home and make it more fire resistant.
    • Create a emergency supply kit.
    • Create wildfire action plan.
    • Report unattended fire by calling 911, especially if conditions are right.
    • Remember to extinguish fire pits and campfires before leaving a campsite.
    • Don’t throw lit cigarettes out of your moving car because the spark can start a fire, especially if you are in a dry area.
    • Make sure caution is practiced when using flammable liquids.
    • Have a fire extinguisher available.
    • Honor local burning bans, enforcements, etc.
    • Stay alert to local warnings when traveling through where a wildfire or smoke is present.


    • Commiting to honoring fallen firefighters.
    • Supporting fire safety efforts in your area.
    • Supporting family and crew members who’ve lost a loved one.
    • Attending memorials in honor of fallen firefighters.
    • Visiting the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) 6 Minutes for Safety Week of Remembrance.
    • Using #6MFS and #WeekOfRemembrance to join the conversation on social media.
    • Thanking a wildland firefighter you know.
    • Learning more about wildfires and wildland firefighters.
    • Visiting the National Interagency Fire Center website to learn about each role.
    • Training to be a wildfire firefighter.
    • Visiting the Wildland Firefighters Monument in Boise, ID.
    • Hosting a Wildland Firefighter Day BBQ.
    • Establishing a proclamation for the day.
    • Remember and honor all wildland firefighters during the Week of Remembrance, June 30 to July 6 and July 2, on National Wildland Firefighter Day.


    Following two devastating losses of wildland firefighter teams in 1994 and 2013, a movement grew to renew a commitment to the safety of wildland firefighters. In addition, the commitment was to remember those who have fallen in the line of duty. In 2015, the wildland firefighter community began observing Wildland Firefighter Week of Remembrances from June 30 to July 6 each year.

  • CELEBRATE TRAILS DAY – Fourth Saturday in April


    Celebrate Trails Day on the fourth Saturday in April encourages the nation to get out and enjoy the country’s outstanding trail systems.

    As the weather warms up, so does the trail season. While many people use them all year long, America’s trail system gets its real workout between April and October when the weather is ripe for outdoor activity. The number of established trails grows every year. Some take the form of well-defined foot or bike routes while others take us onto a beaten path. No matter what kind of path you choose to take, the day encourages you to appreciate the thousands of miles of trails and to bring a friend with you, too!

    While it’s true trails offer us access to the great outdoors, they also offer so much more! Trails are historic places that tell the stories of our ancestors and our country. They offer a glimpse of what life was like 100, 200, and sometimes thousands of years ago. They retrace the footsteps of Indigenous people and European explorers. Trails offer the opportunity for discovery while also encouraging us to slow down.

    From coast to coast and border to border, a vast trail system awaits! Take a look around. You never know what you might find.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #CelebrateTrailsDay

    • Take a hike on your favorite trail.
    • Volunteer to help maintain local trails.
    • Discover new trails.
    • Create a trail bucket list.
    • Introduce friends and families to trails near you.
    • Take a photo while you’re out and post it on social media.
    • Commit to visiting your local trails more often.
    • Use #CelebrateTrailsDay to join the conversation.


    Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) founded Opening Day for Trails in 2013 to celebrate the nation’s trail systems and to encourage everyone to get out and use them. The name was later changed to Celebrate Trails Day.

    Trails FAQ

    Q. What is the oldest trail in the United States?
    A. According to the USDA and Forest Service, the oldest continuously used and maintained trail in the United States is the Crawford Path in New Hampshire.

    Q. What is the longest trail in the United States?
    A. The longest trail in the United States is actually two trails. American Discovery Trail begins in Delaware and ends in California. Great Western Loop in the western U.S. crosses 9 states. Both trails tally 6,800 miles.

  • ANTARCTICA DAY – December 1


    On December 1st, Antarctica Day recognizes the anniversary of the Antarctic Treaty. It’s also a day to learn more about this cold and barren continent.


    Humans didn’t discover Antarctica until 1820. Once discovered, several nations sought to claim the continent as their own. As tension increased, some countries began working on a peaceful solution. On December 1st, 1959 in Washington, D.C. delegates from 12 countries came together to sign the Antarctic Treaty. These countries included:

    • Argentina
    • Australia
    • Belgium
    • France
    • Chile
    • Japan
    • New Zealand
    • Norway
    • South Africa
    • Soviet Union
    • United Kingdom
    • United States

    Each of these countries had scientists working on the continent during the International Geophysical Year of 1957-1958. This Treaty became the first arms control agreement established during the Cold War. It symbolized global understanding during a period of intense division and secrecy.

    The Antarctic Treaty ensured that all exploration and research on the continent would be for peaceful purposes only. The Treaty also promoted the idea of cooperation between countries and that all scientific observations would be made freely available. Additionally, the continent could never be used for military purposes or radioactive waste disposal.

    In recent years, climate change and tourism have become important issues for the Antarctic region. Antarctica has an average temperature in the summer of -18° F. The average temperature in the winter is -76° F. Despite these frigid temperatures, tourism on the continent is growing. In one year, 40,000 people visited the fifth-largest continent. Antarctica is about 5.5 million square miles, which is twice as big as Australia. Ninety percent of the planet’s ice is on Antarctica.


    On this day, schools, museums, and science centers around the world hold various Antarctica-themed events. Flag displays, writing contests, webinars, and film festivals are just some of the different kinds of activities held on this day. To participate:

    • Learn more about the Antarctic Treaty and the continent of Antarctica.
    • Hold a contest with family and friends to see who can name the most species of animals that live in Antarctica.
    • Watch a documentary on Antarctica, such as Encounters at the End of the World, Antarctica: A Year on Ice, or Shackleton’s Voyage of Endurance.
    • Read about famous Antarctic explorers, like Charles Wilkes, Robert Falcon Scott, Jules Dumont, and Ann Bancroft.

    Share this day on social media with #AntarcticaDay


    The Foundation for the Good Governance of International Spaces established Antarctica Day. Their goal was to highlight the international cooperation that makes governance of Antarctica possible. The day was created following the Antarctic Treaty Summit in 2009. This year marked the 50th anniversary of the Antarctic Treaty, which was signed in 1959.


  • WORLD JELLYFISH DAY – November 3


    On November 3rd, World Jellyfish Day celebrates this invertebrate that has been on Earth for millions of years. The day also encourages us to learn more about these unique aquatic animals.

    Despite its name, the jellyfish isn’t actually a fish. This is because a fish’s anatomy centers around its spine. A jellyfish, on the other hand, doesn’t even have a spine. In fact, jellyfish don’t have gills, a brain, heart, bones, or blood. Instead, a jellyfish is made up of 95 percent water. They also have skin, through which they absorb oxygen. The body of the jellyfish is called a bell. A jellyfish swims by contracting and relaxing the muscles around this bell. Their tentacles contain stingers, which protect them from prey.

    Jellyfish Facts
    • Some jellyfish can still sting after they are dead.
    • Jellyfish are older than dinosaurs and have been around for over 500 million years.
    • Nearly 2,500 jellyfish polyps made their way to space aboard Space Shuttle Columbia in 1991.
    • Some jellyfish tentacles measure 10 feet long and contain 5,000 stinging cells.
    • Jellyfish are found in all five oceans.
    • There are over 200 species of jellyfish and some of them are edible.
    • A group of jellyfish is called a bloom, swarm, or smack.
    • Jellyfish eat crabs, fish, and tiny plants and digest their food very quickly.

    Some jellyfish are pink, yellow, blue, purple, and other vibrant colors. Jellyfish are usually luminescent, which makes them especially beautiful. If you spot one, don’t get too captivated by its beauty. If you do, you may be in danger of getting stung. Some jellyfish stings are very painful, but others can be deadly. This is especially true of the box jellyfish. This type of jellyfish is usually found in Australia, the Philippines, and the central Pacific Ocean. If you do happen to get stung by a jellyfish, rinse the affected area with vinegar. You can also try to pluck the tentacles from the skin with tweezers.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #WorldJellyfishDay

    On this day, aquariums all around the world host special jellyfish exhibits. It’s also a day for marine biologists and aquarists to educate the general public about this unique invertebrate. To participate:

    • Besides jellyfish, name other kinds of animals that are invertebrates.
    • Check out the jellyfish exhibit at your local zoo or aquarium.
    • Read a book that features jellyfish to your kids, such as Peanut Butter and Jellyfish, Spencer and Vincent, The Jellyfish Brothers, or I Am Not a Fish!
    • Watch the documentary, Vicious Beauties: The Secret Life of the Jellyfish.

    Find a photo or video of jellyfish and share it on social media with #WorldJellyfishDay.


    World Jellyfish Day has been observed on November 3rd since 2014.


  • NATIONAL SUMMIT DAY – First Saturday in August


    Views from the top of the world are some of the most spectacular sights, and they are also some of the hardest to achieve. National Summit Day on the first Saturday in August recognizes those mountain top summits and the people who climb there.


    National Summit Day isn’t just about the highest mountain peaks; it’s also about those vertical inclines in our own neighborhoods. The day encourages us to get into the great outdoors, hit the trails, and explore. Climb the summit nearest you or claim the one that challenges you. Reaching the peak is only one of the many rewards of setting out on the trek.

    The day is also about the people who hike the trails and climb. Teaming up with others on the trail helps us to develop a network of interested trekkers. At the end of the day, we’re rewarded with a sense of satisfaction. Oh, and did we mention the view?


    Gear up and join the celebration! Invite others to join you, too. The more the merrier.

    • Organize a hike.
    • Hit a trail you’ve been wanting to try.
    • Join a hike that’s already organized for the day.
    • Take a climbing course.
    • Share your experiences reaching the summit.
    • Don’t forget to enjoy the view.

    When you celebrate, be sure to share the story on social media using #NationalSummitDay.


    Backpacker Magazine established National Summit Day in 2017 to celebrate summits and all those who climb them.

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    On September 29, Urban National Wildlife Refuge Day celebrates the 101 urban national wildlife refuges in the United States. That is nearly 1/5 of the country’s total refuges.


    To be defined as an urban national wildlife refuge, the unit must be within 25 miles of an urban area of 250,000 people or greater. These refuges provide communities with access to substantial green space for outdoor recreation including hiking, bird watching, canoeing, fishing, and hunting. They also offer a wealth of educational opportunities. Over 80% of the U.S. population lives in urban areas. Having access to a wildlife area not only offers recreational activities but also improves our quality of life.

    The first urban national wildlife refuge established in the United States was the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Established in 1972, the 1000-acre refuge also includes a 285-acre freshwater tidal marsh. Refuges like this offer opportunities to see wildlife up close and personal. Since then, the U.S. Department of Interior has designated 100 more urban wildlife refuges in more than 30 states.

    The day encourages us to explore the wildlife refuges near where we live. Enjoy nature at its best while hiking or canoeing. Take in the beauty and breathe in the fresh air.


    On Urban National Wildlife Refuge Day, explore the trails or drop a fishing line into the water. Access the educational opportunities the refuge near you offers. Many refuges include:

    • Wildlife demonstrations
    • Resource management and conservation, including threatened and endangered species
    • Horseback riding, hiking, bicycling or birding
    • Nature or cultural activities
    • Volunteer opportunities
    • Picnic areas
    • Interpretive centers
    • Nature photography opportunities

    Join the conversation by using #UrbanNationalWildlifeRefugeDay when you post your activities, too!


    The United States Congress first proclaimed Urban National Wildlife Refuge Day to be observed in 2018.


  • INTERNATIONAL SHAKEOUT DAY – Third Thursday in October


    On the third Thursday in October, International Shakeout Day educates the public about ways to stay safe during an earthquake. The day also encourages individuals and organizations to update their emergency plans and supplies.

    Each year, the National Earthquake Information Center locates 20,000 earthquakes around the world. This number equates to about 55 earthquakes a day. Some people think more earthquakes happen each year. This is not the case, however. The reality is there are more seismic instruments that are capable of detecting earthquakes. Since 1900, there have been about 16 major earthquakes each year.

    Scientists use the earthquake magnitude scale to measure earthquakes. A magnitude of 2.5 or less usually can’t be felt; however, earthquakes of a 7 magnitude are considered major earthquakes. A couple of earthquakes each year have been 8.0 or greater. These earthquakes cause massive damage and can destroy entire communities.

    Earthquakes occur along fractures in the Earth’s crust. These fractures are called faults. When there are sudden movements or releases of energy along these faults, an earthquake occurs. North America, South America, and Asia have several major earthquake zones. Over several years, these countries have made strides in improving the structural integrity of their homes and buildings. Earthquake-proof buildings contain flexible foundations and shock absorbers. These buildings are also able to protect themselves against vibrations and are reinforced to withstand collapse.

    To stay safe during an earthquake, it’s important to get underneath a sturdy piece of furniture, stay indoors until the shaking stops, and stay away from windows. Those who are outside during an earthquake should find a clear spot away from buildings, trees, and powerlines and drop to the ground.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #InternationalShakeOutDay

    On this day, Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills are held in several regions throughout the world. It’s also a day for schools, businesses, and families to develope an emergency disaster plan. To participate:

    • Find out if the area in which you live contains any faults that are prone to earthquakes.
    • Watch earthquake safety videos.
    • Learn more about earthquakes.
    • Watch the documentary The Deadliest Earthquakes.

    Share this day on social media with #InternationalShakeOutDay


    The first Great ShakeOut event occurred in Southern California in 2008. The ShakeOut encouraged schools, businesses, and individuals to hold earthquake drills at least one minute long. In 2009, the ShakeOut organization established International Shakeout Day. They chose the third Thursday in October as most schools were in session on this day.

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