Free Entry at National Parks on Sept 24, Plus a Chance to Volunteer
Established in 1994 and held annually on the fourth Saturday in September, National Public Lands Day is traditionally the nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort. It celebrates the connection between people and green space in their community, inspires environmental stewardship, and encourages use of open space for education, recreation, and health benefits.
In honor of National Public Lands Day on Saturday, September 24, entry fees will be waived at national parks and other federal public lands, including national monuments, forests, recreation areas, seashores, wildlife refuges, historical sites, battlefields and grasslands. So this is a great time to visit any of these attractions.
There are more than 400 parks available to everyone, every day. The fee-free days provide a great opportunity to visit a new place or an old favorite, especially one of the national parks that normally charge an entrance fee. The others are free all the time. The entrance fee waiver for fee-free days does not cover amenity or user fees for activities such as camping, boat launches, transportation, or special tours.
These are the fee-free days for 2022:
- January 17: Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
- April 16: First day of National Park Week
- August 4: Anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act
- September 24: National Public Lands Day
- November 11: Veterans Day
National Public Lands Day is a great day for a visit, and it also is the nation’s largest single day of volunteering for parks and public lands, with 100,000 volunteers expected at federal sites as well as state and local parks. People can find hundreds of already-planned volunteer events and other cool activities in most states https://www.neefusa.org/npld-
Some examples among the hundreds of volunteer locations: Grand Canyon Parashant National Monument, Great Smoky Mountains, Yellowstone, Pikes Peak, White Point Nature Preserve in Los Angeles, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Enchanted Forest in North Miami, Bears Ears National Monument, Mill Springs Battlefield National Monument, Arches National Monument, George Washington Carver National Monument, Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument, Andersonville National Cemetery (GA), Everglades National Park, Mount Rainier National Park, Harvest Square Nature Preserve, and Golden Gate National Park.
Some of the interesting things volunteers will do:
- Clean the wall of names at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
- At Yosemite rock climbers will rappel from great heights to pick up litter on the face and edges of the iconic massive rock formations in the park. There will also be less daring trash pickup by hundreds of volunteers throughout the park.
- The Student Conservation Association and other volunteers will plant shrubs and dig holes to restore the habitat for the endangered New England cottontail rabbit at the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge in Scarborough, Maine. The “Rabbitat Planting Party” expects 250 volunteers.
There are also many educational events and celebrations, such as hundreds gathering at Vermillion Cliffs National Monument (AZ) to see the release of captive-bred California Condors, the largest birds in North America.