Free admission for all, and a volunteer spirit to uplift many. That’s what this weekend has in store throughout the US, to honor National Public Lands Day.
On Saturday, Sep. 24th, more than 170,000 Americans will volunteer at parks and beaches across the country building trails, removing invasive plants and picking up trash.
Admission fees into national parks will by waived for the general public that day, a gift from the 100 or so parks that normally charge entrance fees. Volunteers will be given coupons for a second free entry day to any national park or federal public land.
Volunteer events held are expected to draw the largest crowds since the National Public Lands Day (NPLD) was first celebrated in 1994.
“Every year, Boy and Girl Scout troops from Massachusetts to Alaska play a major role in making NPLD a success – and this year is no exception,” said Robb Hampton, program director for NPLD, a program of the National Environmental Education Foundation. “Students from public and private schools, 4-H groups and colleges, like the University of Illinois and Middle Tennessee State University, have also committed their time.”
NPLD will host activities in more than 2,000 sites in all 50 states and D.C., with beautification efforts equaling more than $15 million in improvements for city and county parks, neighborhood green spaces, wildlife sanctuaries, national parks and coastal areas.
Participating parks offering a free-fee day Saturday include the Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree National Park, Sequoia National Park, Dinosaur National Monument, the Everglades, Harpers Ferry, Cape Cod National Seashore, Thomas Edison National Historical Park (NJ) and presidential homes like those of Franklin D. Roosevelt in NY and Harry Truman in Missouri.
Fee waivers include entrance fees, some tour fees and transportation entrance fees. Check out the list of parks near you: www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparksbystate.htm