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Contact: Ann Honious, 315.655.1634
Contact: Arlene Jackson, 314.842.1867 x223
ST. LOUIS, MO - To show our appreciation for those who serve in the U.S. Military, on May 19 - Armed Forces Day - the National Park Service will begin issuing an annual pass offering free entrance to all 397 national parks for active duty military members and their dependents. In Missouri and Illinois alone there are seven national park units and a variety of historic trails.
Active duty members of the U.S. Military and their dependents can pick up their pass at two National Park Service Sites in St Louis, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial and Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site. They must show a current, valid military identification card to obtain their pass.
Visit www.nps.gov/findapark/passes.htm for more information about the military pass. The pass is typically available at any national park that charges an entrance fee. Find a list of national parks with entrance fees at https://www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparksbystate.htm.
This military version of the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass also permits free entrance to sites managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the U.S. Forest Service. The pass is also available at these locations.
"Through the years, military members, especially those far from home in times of conflict, have found inspiration in America's patriotic icons and majestic landscapes, places like the Statue of Liberty and the Grand Canyon that are cared for by the National Park Service and symbolize the nation that their sacrifices protect," said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. "This new pass is a way to thank military members and their families for their service and their sacrifices."
National parks and the military have strong ties going back to the establishment of Yellowstone as the world's first national park in 1872. The U.S. Cavalry watched over America's national parks and did double duty, serving as the first park rangers until the National Park Service was created 44 years later. During World War II, many parks were set aside for the training and care of military personnel. Today, dozens of national parks commemorate military battles and achievements.
Jefferson National Expansion Memorial includes the Gateway Arch and Old Courthouse in downtown St. Louis. The Gateway Arch Visitor Center is currently open 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. daily. Summer hours: Memorial Day - Labor Day 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. daily. Visit the park website for more information at www.nps.gov/jeff.
Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site is located at 7400 Grant Road in south St. Louis County. The park is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily. Visit the park website for more information at www.nps.gov/ulsg.
About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 397 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.