Still not sure what to do this weekend? As if you needed another excuse to view some of America's most beautiful public lands, admission to all National Parks is free this Saturday, September 24. We honestly cannot think of a better way to spend time with friends or family than by taking in some history, scenery, or just enjoying wildlife in one of the many National Park sites across the country. Typical admission costs vary depending on the Park, but you could save $15 to $35 on the visit. National Public Lands Day was first established in 1994 and is held every year on the fourth Saturday of September. According to the National Park Service, it is their single biggest day for volunteering in the parks.
"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," the NPS says on their website.
The free admission applies not just to the Parks, but National Monuments and Historic Sites too. If you've got any one of the 423 National Park sites close to home that you've been putting off visiting, this is a good time to do it.
Many of these sites are hosting two- to four-hour volunteer work projects where visitors can earn a voucher for another free day at a park on a later date. Duties tend to include things like invasive plant removal, trash pick-up, or habit restoration efforts. However, a quick scan of the events reveals some rather unique volunteer efforts mixed in. For instance, Hopewell Culture National Historic Park in Oklahoma will have volunteers assisting in monarch butterfly tagging efforts. Sounds like a fun event for the kids! Other parks will host guided hikes or talks with guest speakers.
If you've never visited one of our National Parks this time of year, know that the early fall is an often overlooked time of year to visit many of them. Now is also a great time to visit Rocky Mountain, Yellowstone, or the Grand Tetons National Parks because the elk rut is still in full swing, and wildlife viewing gets turned up a notch.
For more information on National Public Lands Day or the National Park Service, visit their website.
Enjoy the outdoors?
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