Good news for parents piling the kids into the car and hoping to visit our national parks this year. The National Park Service just announced its preliminary Fee-Free days for 2011. Drum roll please…
The Fee-Free Days program was launched in 2009 by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar to help mitigate the concerns and duress of the economic downturn, to encourage Americans to visit America’s national parks and public lands, and to promote Obama’s America Outdoors Initiative designed to get families outdoors.
The dates are:
January 15-17 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday weekend (new)
April 16-24 – National Park Week
June 21 – First day of summer (new)
September 24 – Public Lands Day
November 11 – Veterans Day
Park visitation remains at or below levels of the late 1980s – and the total number of hours spent by the public in national parks is down 13 percent. The drop in hours is mostly due to lower numbers of campers and guests at concessioner-operated lodging.
In some parks, the number of guest rooms and campsites has been reduced significantly since the 1980’s. More dates and outreach initiatives will be added as it becomes available….