Celebrate National Public Lands Day with Free Admission and Special Events at National Parks


National Park Service

U.S. Department of the Interior

Celebrate National Public Lands Day with Free Admission and Special Events at National Parks


On September 22, join in the nation’s biggest celebration of the great outdoors on National Public Lands Day! All national parks will have free admission and many will host volunteer service projects open to all.

“Every year, Americans come together on National Public Lands Day to demonstrate their love of national parks,” said National Park Service Deputy Director P. Daniel Smith. “Activities hosted by parks across the nation will promote environmental stewardship and encourage the use of public lands for education, recreation, and good health.”

Marking its 25th anniversary this year, National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest single-day environmental volunteer effort. More than 200,000 people are expected to participate in volunteer service events designed to improve the health of public lands and encourage shared stewardship.

Secretary of the Interior Ryan K. Zinke will celebrate the day by working alongside groups of military veterans and youth to paint several historic structures at Grand Canyon National Park. The volunteer project to restore the cabins is an example of the $11.6 billion in deferred maintenance needs in the National Park System. Secretary Zinke will also meet with national park partners and congressional representatives to discuss legislative efforts to address the maintenance backlog.

Grand Canyon is just one of 100 national parks and 2,600 federal public land sites hosting National Public Lands Day events. In other national parks, volunteers will rehabilitate campgrounds, improve trails, restore native habitats, repair bluebird boxes, clean beaches, and refurbish historic buildings, among other projects. Check NPS.gov for more information and a list of sites.

Volunteer efforts on days such as National Public Lands Day demonstrate the willingness of people to give back to the land for the benefit of parks. Volunteers assisting on work projects on National Public Lands Day will receive a voucher that can be redeemed for free entrance to any national park on a date of their choosing.

National Public Land Day celebrations also include recreational and educational activities, such as hikes, bike rides, paddle trips, bird watching excursions, and water quality testing. To encourage everyone to join the fun, it is an entrance fee-free day for national parks and most other federal public lands and state parks.

The National Environmental Education Foundation coordinates National Public Lands Day in partnership with seven federal agencies as well as nonprofit organizations and state, regional, and local governments. The federal partners are the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Department of Defense, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Forest Service.

All National Public Lands Day events are free, and open to people of all ages and abilities. To learn more, register an event, or find an event near you, visit NEEFusa.org/NPLD. Follow National Public Lands Day on Twitter and Facebook for updates and share your own activities that day with #NPLD.


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Information on National Park Entrance Fees increase to $70 Comment period closes November 23, 2018

$70 to visit Grand Canyon?  There is a 30 days comment period underway right now where the public (and that means you) can weigh in on a significant entrance fee proposal that would affect a number of national parks including Grand Canyon. See this link for details and to access the website for submitting comments. https://www.nps.gov/…/1…/10-24-2017-fee-changes-proposal.htm

Will lower income and under-served populations be priced out? Shouldn’t national parks be affordable and accessible to everyone?  But how do we pay for the massive maintenance backlog that exists in our national parks?  Our parks belong to ALL Americans, not just those who visit them, and our administration should be boosting park budgets, not cutting them. Congress should also support the bipartisan legislation introduced specifically to address the NPS maintenance backlog — the National Parks Legacy Act (HR 2584 and SB 751) which is currently pending.

Also, please read these related blogs from our good friends at the National Parks Conservation Association:



“We should not increase fees to such a degree as to make these places — protected for all Americans to experience — unaffordable for some families to visit,” NPCA president and CEO Theresa Pierno said in a statement. “The solution to our parks’ repair needs cannot and should not be largely shouldered by its visitors.”


Admission and Festivities for All during National Park Week April 16-24 at all National Parks

1874651366257968200.png National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior
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Washington, DC 20240
National Park Foundation
1201 Eye Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005

Free Admission and Festivities for All during National Park Week April 16-24

All Americans Encouraged to #FindYourPark and Celebrate the NPS Centennial

Washington, D.C. (March 23, 2016) As the National Park Service (NPS) celebrates 100 years of protecting and preserving the nation’s parks and monuments, all Americans are encouraged to get out and #FindYourPark during National Park Week, April 16 through 24. All National Park Service entrance fees will be waived for the week so choose a park, near or far, and discover what makes it unique.

Each of the 410 national parks is a thread in the tapestry that tells the story of our country – its beautiful landscapes, diverse culture, and rich heritage. Throughout the year, and especially during National Park Week, the NPS and the National Park Foundation, invite everyone to discover and share their own unique connections to our public lands.

“We have an amazing variety of special events taking place during the centennial,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “Some commemorate our first hundred years, but many others look to the future, to the next 100 years, and will help connect with and create the next generation of park visitors, supporters and advocates. It is through them that America’s lands and stories will be preserved and passed on to future generations.”

“With free admission to parks all week long, National Park Week is the perfect opportunity to check out a new location, revisit one of your favorite parks, and perhaps invite a friend who has never visited a park before to join you,” said Will Shafroth, president of the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks. “It’s a great time to experience and celebrate our parks and historic places, and discover and share with each other how these treasured places are vital and relevant to people from all backgrounds from all over the country.”

National Park Week will kick off with National Junior Ranger Day on Saturday, April 16. Parks will host kid oriented activities and distribute the new Centennial Junior Ranger booklet and badge. Throughout the week, many parks will also host Every Kid in a Park events, which encourage fourth grade students to visit national parks and other public lands by offering a free annual pass.

Other highlights during the week include an education summit on April 20, Earth Day events on April 22, a national park InstaMeet on April 23, and Park RxDay on April 24. Park Rx is a community health initiative where medical doctors “prescribe” time in parks to promote wellness and help prevent and treat chronic disease. More than a dozen national parks will offer health screenings and recreational activities, including an event with the U.S. Surgeon General.

Visit www.FindYourPark.com to learn more about National Park Week activities throughout the country.

Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque is a public awareness and education movement to inspire people from all backgrounds to connect with, celebrate, and support America’s national parks and community-based programs that help revitalize communities and commemorate local heritage.

307 Million People visited US National Parks in 2015

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U.S. Department of the Interior
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National Park Service News Release
National Park Service Certifies 2015 Visitation at 307 Million

Reports Annual Top 10 Lists and Other Highlights

WASHINGTON – President Theodore Roosevelt was reelected in 1904, the same year rangers started counting national park visitors. There were more than 120,000 visits to America’s 11 national parks in the first year of counting. This week, the National Park Service (NPS) certified 2015 national park visitation at more than 307 million. It also released its popular Top 10 list of the most visited national park sites.

“The popularity of national parks is well known, but last year’s numbers really are extraordinary,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “As the National Park Service celebrates its 100th year, we’re preparing to welcome more visitors than ever including a new generation of park supporters and advocates who are discovering their own national park adventures.”

Today’s figures were an increase from the unofficial visitation total of 305 million reported by the NPS in January. The difference is attributed to the recently-completed NPS visitation audit.

2015 visitation highlights include:

  • 307,247,252 recreation visits, a 4.9 percent increase over 2014 and the previous record of 292.8 million recreation visits.
  • 371 of the 410 parks in the National Park System report visitation.
  • 57 of the 371 reporting parks set a new record for annual recreation visits. Eleven parks had more than 5 million recreation visits in 2015.

Notable park milestones in 2015

  • Joshua Tree National Park surpassed 2 million annual recreation visits for the first time.
  • Rocky Mountain National Park surpassed 4 million annual recreation visits for the first time.
  • Yellowstone National Park surpassed 4 million annual recreation visits for the first time.
  • Grand Canyon National Park surpassed 5 million annual recreation visits for the first time.
  • Glacier National Park surpassed 100 million total recreation visits (1910 to 2015)
  • 2 parks are reporting visitation for the first time
  • Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument
  • Waco Mammoth National Monument

Overnight stays in park campgrounds and backcountry were up over 2014.

Total overnight stays (sum of all categories) were up 6 percent over 2014.


  • Concessioner campground overnights were up 12.5 percent.
  • NPS campground tent overnights were up 13 percent.
  • NPS campground RV overnights were up 10 percent.
  • Backcountry overnights were up 7 percent.

Top 10 Visitation

All Parks of the National Park System

  1. Blue Ridge Parkway – 15,054,603
  2. Golden Gate National Recreation Area – 14,888,537
  3. Great Smoky Mountains National Park – 10,712,674
  4. Lincoln Memorial – 7,941,771
  5. Lake Mead National Recreation Area – 7,298,465
  6. George Washington Memorial Parkway – 7,286,463
  7. Gateway National Recreation Area – 6,392,565
  8. Natchez Trace Parkway – 5,785,812
  9. Vietnam Veterans Memorial – 5,597,077
  10. Grand Canyon National Park – 5,520,736

National Parks

  1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park – 10,712,674
  2. Grand Canyon National Park – 5,520,736
  3. Rocky Mountain National Park – 4,155,916
  4. Yosemite National Park – 4,150,217
  5. Yellowstone National Park – 4,097,710
  6. Zion National Park – 3,648,846
  7. Olympic National Park – 3,263,761
  8. Grand Teton National Park – 3,149,921
  9. Acadia National Park – 2,811,184
  10. Glacier National Park – 2,366,056

America’s National Parks Received a New Record with the Number of Visitors attending 2015


America’s National Parks: Record Number of Visitors in 2015

WASHINGTON – WASHINGTON – More than 305 million people visited national parks in 2015, eclipsing the all-time visitation record that the National Park Service saw in the previous year. The unofficial visitation numbers for 2015 were announced by National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis, as the National Park Service (NPS) is celebrating its centennial year.

“The increasing popularity of our national parks comes as we are actively reaching out to new audiences and inviting them to explore the depth and breadth of the national park system,” Jarvis said. “The 409 parks we care for preserve natural, cultural and historic landscapes across 84 million acres in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. Territories, and they tell stories that reflect the great diversity of our nation.”

Record visitation tests the capacity of the park system and challenges parks to continue to provide great experiences for all visitors. Jarvis said park managers are adjusting to make sure they have sufficient staff to provide interpretive programs, answer visitor questions, respond to emergencies and to keep restrooms, campgrounds and other facilities clean.

Park visitors can plan their trips to avoid peak crowds by visiting the most popular parks in spring and fall and by visiting early in the morning or later in the day. Visitors can also take advantage of shuttles and walking trails at some parks, including Yosemite and Glacier and Acadia national parks.

“Even with record breaking visitation, visitors can still find quiet places in the parks for those willing to seek them out,” Jarvis said. “I can take you to Yosemite Valley on the Fourth of July and within five minutes get you to a place where you are all alone.”

Much of the increase in national park visitation is the result of the National Park Foundation’s “Find Your Park” media campaign. The campaign has sparked interest from travelers and also from communities near national parks, state tourism agencies and Congress. In late December 2015, Congress approved a nine percent funding increase for the National Park Service, which will help the agency continue to provide excellent visitor services as visitation increases.

“The increase in Congressional appropriations comes at a critical time for the National Park Service and will help us to serve the growing number of visitors,” Jarvis said. “We look forward to continuing to work with Congress as it considers additional legislation in support of the National Park Service Centennial, which would further improve the national parks by encouraging philanthropy and volunteerism, while also allowing us to improve visitor services and connect with a new generation of national park visitors.”

By the Numbers: Unofficially, the NPS recorded more than 305 million visits during 2015. That is an increase of more than 12 million visits, and more than four percent, over the 2014 figure of 292.8 million visits. About 365 of 409 parks in the national park system record visitation numbers. The NPS has recorded more than 13 billion visits to parks since park managers began counting visitors in 1904, some 12 years before the NPS was created. Official statistics including the most-visited parks of the national park system and the most-visited national parks will be released in late February.


Adventure Cycling Association new Cycle Though Our National Parks Program on September 24


Adventure Cycling Announces First-Ever Bike Your Park Day

Registration is now open for a national event on September 24, 2016, for people of all ages and abilities to discover their parks and public lands by bicycle.

MISSOULA, MONT., January 12, 2016 — Adventure Cycling Association today announced the inaugural Bike Your Park Day, which will inspire and empower thousands of people to bike in or to a national park, state park, wildlife refuge, or other public lands on the same day — September 24, 2016. Anyone interested in participating can now register and start planning their ride. Participants can register their own ride or join an existing ride posted on the Bike Your Park Day interactive map, which pinpoints all of the rides happening throughout the United States.

“Your park is only a pedal away on September 24th,” said Jim Sayer, executive director of Adventure Cycling Association. “You can ride one mile or 100 miles, you can go solo, ride with friends or bring the kids — it’s all about getting people to explore and discover the parks and public lands out their back door by bicycle.”

The event celebrates Adventure Cycling Association’s 40th anniversary and the National Park Service’s (NPS) Centennial, and is also on National Public Lands Day. Many parks will offer activities and volunteer opportunities, and many parks will waive entry fees.

“Bike Your Park Day is a great opportunity to promote healthy, active recreation in our parks while at the same time encouraging family-friendly activities during the NPS Centennial year,” said Bob Ratcliffe, NPS Program Chief of Conservation and Outdoor Recreation. “Plus, it’s a much better experience seeing our parks from the seat of a bicycle than sitting in a car!”

For those who are new to bicycling or unfamiliar with local routes, more than 100 Bike Your Park Day ambassadors are available in 47 states to answer questions about bicycling, safety, bike-friendly routes, and nearby parks and public lands. These ambassadors are volunteers who are eager to share their local and regional knowledge and offer ride recommendations.

“Bike Your Park Day is a national event that is building connections at the local level through the joy of bicycling,” Jim Sayer said. “In our 40 years as the top resource for bicycle travel, Adventure Cycling has seen time and again that there is no better way to connect with your neighbors and meet new people than on a bike. Bike Your Park Day will help spark those connections.”

Participants can share their rides on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media using promotional materials on the Adventure Cycling website, including the Bike Your Park Day logo, sample social media posts and images, a downloadable poster, and sample press release and newsletter article.

Everyone who registers for Bike Your Park Day at adventurecycling.org/bikeyourpark before September 5th will be entered into a drawing to win a custom-painted Salsa Marrakesh touring bicycle and will receive a Bike Your Park Day sticker. The first 250 people to register will receive a Bike Your Park Day embroidered patch.

In addition to Bike Your Park Day, Adventure Cycling will celebrate its 40th anniversary with two other major events. National Bike Travel Weekend, June 3–5, encourages adventurers throughout North America to gather up their family and friends and bike to their favorite campground, B&B or hostel with thousands of others on the same weekend. Registration and DIY resources are available at adventurecycling.org/BikeTravelWeekend. The Montana Bicycle Celebration, July 15–17, will include parties, nationally acclaimed speakers, bike rides, music, art, film, and reunions in Missoula, Montana, Adventure Cycling’s headquarters. Tickets to the Friday reception and Saturday dinner are available at adventurecycling.org/MTBikeCelebration.

Major sponsors of the 40th Anniversary events include Raleigh Bicycles, Montana Department of Commerce, Salsa Cycles, Primal Wear, Advocate Cycles, Visit Mississippi, Travel Oregon, Osprey Packs, Experience Plus!, and Destination Missoula.

“Raleigh is honored to support Adventure Cycling’s 40th anniversary,” said Larry Pizzi, Raleigh’s senior vice president. “When we learned of the opportunity, we realized a perfect alignment with the association’s mission of inspiring and empowering people to travel by bicycle. At Raleigh, we believe that bicycling changes and improves people’s lives and we are pleased to be able to support an organization that helps create wonderful bicycling experiences and embraces the simple pleasures that riding a bicycle can bring.”

For more information about Adventure Cycling’s 40th anniversary visit http://www.adventurecycling.org/40th

Adventure Cycling Association inspires and empowers people to travel by bicycle. It is the largest cycling membership organization in North America with more than 48,000 members. Adventure Cycling produces cycling routes and maps for North America, organizes more than 100 tours and leadership courses annually, and publishes the Adventure Cyclist magazine. With 44,662 meticulously mapped miles in the Adventure Cycling Route Network, Adventure Cycling gives cyclists the tools and confidence to create their own bike travel adventures. Phone: 800-755-BIKE (2453). Web: www.adventurecycling.org.

16 Free Entrance Days at Our National Parks in 2016: Prepare now to Get Outdoors!


All National Parks to Offer Free Admission on 16 Days in 2016

WASHINGTON – The National Park Service turns 100 years old in 2016 and wants everyone to celebrate! All national parks will waive their entrance fees on 16 special days in 2016.

The 16 entrance fee-free days for 2016 will be:

  • January 18 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • April 16 through 24 – National Park Week
  • August 25 through 28 – National Park Service Birthday (and following weekend)
  • September 24 – National Public Lands Day
  • November 11 – Veterans Day

“Fee-free days provide an extra incentive to visit a national park, especially during next year’s centennial celebration,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “We added extra fee-free days so that everyone has a chance to join the party. With locations in every state, finding a national park is easy. The hard part might be deciding which ones to visit.”

To honor the National Park Service’s centennial, the National Park Foundation has joined the National Park Service to launch a public engagement campaign called Find Your Park to help all Americans discover all the things that national parks can be. Visit FindYourPark.com for a list of Centennial special events across the country and to learn how to discover, explore, recreate, be inspired, or simply have fun in national parks.

Usually, 127 of the 409 National Park Service sites charge entrance fees that range from $3 to $30. The entrance fee waiver for the fee-free days does not cover amenity or user fees for things like camping, boat launches, transportation, or special tours.

To continue the national park adventure beyond these fee free days, the $80 America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Pass allows unlimited entrance to more than 2,000 sites, including all national parks, throughout the year. There are also a variety of free or discounted passes available for senior citizens, current military members, fourth grade students, and disabled citizens.

On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the act that created the National Park Service “to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for future generations.”

Today, the National Park System includes more than 84 million acres and is comprised of 409 sites with 28 different designations, including national park, national historical park, national monument, national recreation area, national battlefield, and national seashore. Collectively, these sites contain more than 18,000 miles of trails, 27,000 historic and prehistoric structures, 247 species of threatened and endangered species, and 167 million museum items.

Last year, almost 293 million people visited national parks. Those visitors spent $15.7 billion in local communities which supported 277,000 jobs and had a $29.7 billion effect on the economy.

But the impact doesn’t stop there. In addition to national parks, the National Park Service works with tribes, local governments, nonprofit organizations, and businesses across the country to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Programs such as the National Register of Historic Places, National Heritage Areas, National Wild and Scenic Rivers, National Historic Landmarks, National Trails, and the Rivers, Trails, Conservation Assistance Program revitalize communities, preserve local history, celebrate local heritage, and provide places for children and families to get outside, be active, and have fun.