Celebrate 2012 National Public Lands Day With Free Entry To National Parks

Saturday is National Public Lands Day in the U.S. and to celebrate, the National Park Service is waiving entry fees to all of the parks. The day is set aside on an annual basis to not only recognize the value and importance of public lands but to organize opportunities to maintain and protect them as well.

During last year’s National Public Lands Day, more than 170,000 volunteers worked on 2067 sites spread out across every state in the country. They spent the day collecting over 23,000 pounds of invasive plants, building or maintaining 1500 miles of trails, removing 500 tons of trash and planting 100,000 trees, shrubs and other native plants. Their efforts helped to improve some of our favorite national parks and forests while protecting the environment and other natural resources. A similar number of volunteers are expected to turn out this Saturday as well, with opportunities in abundance once again. To find a work site near you, simply click here.

Even if you don’t plan on volunteering for the day, you can still enjoy free entry into the national parks. For a complete list of locations that will be completely free on Saturday, click here.

On a related note, the final fee-free days for the national parks in 2012 will be November 10-12 in celebration of Veterans Day.

U.S. national parks are fee-free this Saturday

Looking for something to do this weekend? Want to get outside and enjoy the first days of fall? Well, you’re in luck, as the National Park Service is celebrating National Public Lands Day by waiving entry fees to all national parks this Saturday, September 24. That means you’ll be able to visit more than 400 different parks across the country absolutely free.

Since it first began back in 1994, National Public Lands Day has been an annual event that has focused on protecting shared outdoor spaces across the country. Each year, groups of volunteers get together at various sites in all 50 U.S. states to work together to improve trails, clean-up parks, plant trees, and a variety of other projects. In 2010 alone, more 170,000 volunteers, spread out over 2080 sites, participated in these events. Similar numbers are expected this weekend as well.

Some of the projects that will be worked on this weekend include the removal of fences near Yellowstone National Park to facilitate the movement of wildlife, the cleaning of trash along a Green Belt trail in Austin, Texas, and the repainting of a fence at the Appomattox Course House in Virginia. As of this writing, there are more than 1800 sites registered on the NPLD website, with more being added every day. To find a project close to where you live, click here.

Of course, if you would rather just take advantage of the fee-free day to enjoy some time in your favorite national park, that is perfectly acceptable too. The complete list of parks that are participating can be found here.

The park service has three more fee-free days scheduled for 2011. On November 11-13, entry fees will be waived in honor of Veterans Day weekend.

Celebrate National Public Lands Day with free entry to national parks

Today is National Public Lands Day, which has been set aside to celebrate service and recreation on public lands across the U.S. In recognition of the day, there are a number of volunteer projects taking place throughout the country to help protect and clean up our public spaces and ensure that they remain a viable natural resource that we can all enjoy well into the future.

Some of the projects that are being conducted today include trail and bridge building, trash removal, tree planting, and much much more. With more than 150,000 volunteers expected to take part at over 2000 different sites across the nation, National Public Lands Day is one of the largest volunteer efforts in the U.S. Last year it is estimated that the volunteers removed more than 900,000 pounds of trash, built and maintained over 1300 miles of trail, and planted more than 100,000 trees. Impressive numbers to say the least.

Additionally, the National Park Service has declared today a “fee free” day in conjunction with NPLD. More than 100 parks and monuments will have free admission today in celebration of the event. Such iconic parks as Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Acadia are all waiving their entry fees for visitors. To see a complete list of other parks that are also free click here.

Here in the U.S. we are fortunate enough to have some of the most spectacular landscapes fall into the category of “public lands.” Whether you’re one of the volunteers helping to preserve those places or simply headed out to appreciate them, today is an excellent day to reflect on those wild spaces. To find volunteer opportunities in your area go to the NPLD website.

National Public Lands Day: enter a park for free and volunteer

Maybe you took advantage of one of the fee-free weekends at a national park this summer? That was for 147 parks. Here’s a free day that’s valid at all 391 national parks.

National Public Lands Day is on Saturday, September 26th.

It’s not just a time to get into a park for free, but it’s a time to participate, if you can. Organizers of the event hope to honor the parks with both celebration and service. Volunteer activities and festivities will be specially tailored for each of the parks.

The reward for your troubles if you volunteer? A sneak preview of Ken Burns’ new documentary “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.”

A few of the special events of the day:

Minute Man National Historic Park
(Massachusetts): Celebrate its 50th anniversary as a national park on the same day. Recently rehabilitated buildings will be open to the public for the first time.

George Washington Carver National Monument (Missouri): Volunteer with others to remove invasive exotic plants in the park’s woodlands and prairie.

Rocky Mountain National Park (Colorado): Build a new connector trail along the Continental Divide between the park and U.S. Forest Service lands. Local musicians will perform music from the Ken Burns’ movie.