WASHINGTON - Celebrate National Public Lands Day with free entrance to all 401 national parks this Saturday, September 28. The 20th annual event encourages everyone to volunteer on their public lands and enjoy the great outdoors.
National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands. Seven federal agencies as well as nonprofit organizations and state, regional, and local governments participate in the annual day of improving the health of public lands and encouraging shared stewardship through volunteer service.
“National Public Lands Day is an opportunity for us to celebrate and make a difference in America’s open spaces, from small neighborhood parks to large national parks,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “We are fortunate that more than 600 million acres of public land, including national parks, provide all of us with cherished places where we can go to recreate, exercise, learn about the past, and connect with nature.”
More than 180,000 people are expected to plant trees, build and maintain trails, remove invasive plants, remove trash, and improve and restore 2,200 public sites throughout the country. National parks are hosting volunteer events and celebrations. Visitors can participate in ribbon cuttings for new bike and horse trails, help make fences more wildlife-friendly, tour caves and historic towns, and enjoy ranger-led hikes and other activities. Visit www.publiclandsday.org for more information and to find a site in your community.
Along with free entrance to national parks for the public on September 28, all National Public Lands Day volunteers receive an additional one-day pass for free entry to any participating federal public land to use anytime within the year. Other federal agencies waiving fees on September 28 include the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the U.S. Forest Service.
Congress directed the National Park Service to waive entry fees to national parks on National Public Lands Day every year. The National Park Service will also waive entrance fees from November 9-11 in commemoration of Veterans Day. For a full list of fee free days, go to http://www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm