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Contact: Jeannine McElveen, 423.569.2404 ext 232
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar recently announced that the National Park Service will offer three fee-free weekends this summer to encourage Americans seeking affordable vacations to visit these national treasures. “During these tough economic times, our national parks provide opportunities for affordable vacations for families,” Salazar said at a press conference at Cuyahoga Valley National Park. “I encourage everyone to visit one of our nation’s crown jewels this summer and especially to take advantage of the three free–admission weekends.”
The 147 National Park Service sites across the country that charge fees for entry will waive these entrance fees during the weekends of June 20-21 (Father’s Day weekend), July 18-19 and August 15-16, 2009. Meanwhile, many park partners including tour operators, hotels, restaurants, gift shops, and other vendors will offer additional discounts and special promotions on those dates. More information on the fees and discounts can be found at https://www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm.
The waiver generally does not include other fees collected in advance or by contractors—such as fees charged for camping, reservations, tours and use of concessions. However, parks that do not charge entrance fees have the discretion to waive some fees on these weekends.
Stennis Young, Superintendent of Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, has authorized fees to be waived for the Alum Ford Campground, backcountry camping permits and daily pool use at the Bandy Creek pool during the weekends of June 20-21, July 18-19 and August 15-16, 2009. Everyone is encouraged to visit Big South Fork and take advantage of these special weekends.