WASHINGTON – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) announced that it will waive day use fees at its more than 2,400 USACE-operated recreation areas nationwide in recognition of National Public Lands Day on Sept. 28. On this day, fees normally charged at boat launch ramps and swimming beaches will be waived.
The waiver does not apply to camping and camping-related services, or fees for specialized facilities such as group picnic shelters. Other agencies and partners that manage recreation areas located on USACE lands are encouraged, but not required, to comply with this waiver of day use fees in the areas they manage.
In addition, volunteers who participate in one of USACE’s National Public Lands Day activities will be issued a fee-free coupon if the volunteer site is participating in the coupon program. Volunteers should check with their local USACE project for more information. The fee-free coupon is valid for one year from date of issue and may be used for one day of entrance or day use fees at any participating federal agency’s park, forest or recreation area that charges either of these types of fees. For more information on the fee-free day and coupons visit http://www.publiclandsday.org/highlights/fee-free-day-and-coupons.
Thousands of local volunteers are expected to support the more than 215 USACE sites participating in this year’s 20th annual National Public Lands Day, the largest annual volunteer hands-on restoration activity of its kind. Volunteers at USACE sites will take part in tree planting, erosion control, bank stabilization, building trails, restoring recreation areas, trash pickup, removing invasive species and non-native plants, improving wildlife habitats, harvesting prairie plant seeds and rehabilitating playgrounds.
In 2012, more than 16,000 volunteers worked to clean 1,800 miles of shoreline, maintain 111 miles of trails, and plant some 4,700 trees and shrubs at USACE-operated sites.
Volunteering in National Public Lands Day events is one way to answer President Obama's call to service and play a role in supporting America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, an effort to promote the conservation of outdoor spaces and reconnect Americans to the outdoors.
USACE has been involved with National Public Lands Day since its inception in 1994 and has consistently been one of the event’s largest providers of sites and volunteers. As the nation’s leading federal provider of outdoor and water-based recreation, USACE manages 422 lake and river projects in 43 states. With 90 percent of these projects located within 50 miles of metropolitan areas, USACE sites provide a wide range of safe, affordable, outdoor recreation opportunities close to home.
To locate National Public Lands Day events near you, visit http://www.publiclandsday.org/ or call your local USACE lake or river office. For more information on USACE recreation opportunities visit www.CorpsLakes.us.