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The Green Life: In 2011, See a National Park for Free

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January 07, 2011

In 2011, See a National Park for Free

National park_elkOutdoor enthusiasts have long had John Muir, the founder of the Sierra Club and the father of the National Park Service, to thank for America's 394 federally protected parks. This year, nature lovers should also send some praise to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, who recently announced that on 17 selected dates this year, admission to national parks will be free.

While many are free year-round, 147 parks normally charge between $3 and $25 to enter. However, in an effort to get more Americans into the great outdoors, all fees will be waived on certain days, while discounts on food, lodging, and tours will also be available.

“Many people have made resolutions to spend more quality time with loved ones and to get outdoors and unplug in 2011,” said Salazar. “There’s no better place than a national park to help keep those resolutions. Parks offer superb recreational opportunities, making them perfect places to enjoy our beautiful land, history and culture, and nurture a healthy lifestyle.”

The first three days of park freedom are less than two weeks away, in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (January 15 to 17). That will be followed by a full week of free admission in April in honor of National Park Week. For a full list of dates and more trip-planning resources, visit the U.S. National Park Service.

--Rosie Spinks

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