This past weekend was the last time in 2012 to take advantage of Fee Free days at our National Parks. But fear not! The National Park Service has just announced all 2013 dates on which every National Park will be open and free to the public. So plan ahead, reserve a camp site, and take in some of the amazingly diverse habitats that our country is known for.
“Our national parks, wildlife refuges, forests and other public lands offer every American a place to get outdoors, learn about our nation’s history and culture, and restore our spirits,” Salazar said. “By providing free admission, we are rolling out the welcome mat for Americans to visit and enjoy these extraordinary treasures that belong to all of us.”
Tourism and outdoor recreation tied to public lands are powerful economic engines in communities across the country. Recreation on federal lands provided 440,000 jobs and contributed $55 billion to the economy in 2009. Each year, over 280 million national park visitors pump $31 billion into local economies, supporting 258,000 jobs.
“We have a fantastic network of public lands that provides world class recreational opportunities, showcases our nation’s rich and diverse history, and features some of the most incredible scenery around,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “The fee free days will give both first time and repeat visitors a good reason to spend time exploring these remarkable places.”
Additionally, active duty military members and their dependents are eligible for a free annual pass that provides entrance to lands managed by the National Park Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and the U.S. Forest Service. TheAmerica theBeautifulNational Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass Program also offers a free lifetime pass for people with disabilities, a $10 lifetime senior pass for those age 62 and over, and an $80 annual pass for the general public.
|January 21||Martin Luther King Jr. Day||National Park ServiceFish & Wildlife ServiceBureau of Land ManagementUSForestService
|April 22 – 26||National Park Week||National Park Service|
|June 8||Great Outdoors Day||USForestService|
|August 25||National Park Service Birthday||National Park Service|
|September 28||National Public Lands Day||National Park ServiceFish & Wildlife ServiceBureau of Land ManagementBureau of Reclamation
|October 13||National Wildlife Refuge Day||Fish & Wildlife Service|
|November 9 – 11||Veterans Day weekend||National Park ServiceFish & Wildlife ServiceBureau of Land ManagementBureau of Reclamation
Pictures courtesy www.nps.gov.