2017 Federal Fee-Free Days Announced

Several federal land management agencies announced fee-free days for 2017, including National Public Lands Day (NPLD) on September 30. A fee-free day is when forests, parks, refuges, and rangelands offer free entry or waive the standard amenity fee for visitors.

Land

Forests, parks and public lands help provide us with clean air and water. But they are also important for less tangible reasons, for they exist as fragmented reminders of where we came from and therefore who we are. They are what's left of a once vast and verdant wilderness whose challenge chiseled the American character, an essential part of what the novelist Wallace Stegner called our "geography of hope." Perhaps that is why science has discovered that getting out of our high-rises every now and then to commune with nature – even if only in the form of a modest city park – can relieve stress and provide a boon to both our mental and physical health.

So what should you do the next time you have a day or two off? Here are two of NEEF's signature programs to give you an idea: Held every year on the last Saturday of September, National Public Lands Day is our nation's largest volunteer effort to improve the health of our parks.

Environmental Education Week is one of our signature programs for educators and young people. Held annually around Earth Day, it inspires learning among K-12 students, bringing kids and their teachers together to learn about our natural environment through projects and educational materials grounded in science and tied to local, state and national learning standards.

Surf our site for more ideas. Just remember: You spend enough time during the week re-charging your smartphone and laptop batteries. To recharge yours: Plug into nature.

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