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Army Corps of Engineers waives fees and invites volunteers to participate in National Public Lands Day, Sept. 24

Lake Mendocino Park Rangers and volunteers collecting 750 pounds of trash. During a cleanup in September of 2021. U.S. Army photo by: Christopher Eddy

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will waive day use fees normally charged at boat launch ramps and swimming beaches at its recreation areas nationwide in recognition of National Public Lands Day (NPLD) on Saturday, Sept. 24.

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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.

USACE welcomes volunteers to continue the annual tradition of public service by participating in NPLD events.

Volunteers who participate in one of USACE’s NPLD in-person 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 the date of issuance 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.

Thousands of volunteers are expected to support the more than 60 USACE projects participating in this year’s National Public Lands Day, the largest annual volunteer hands-on restoration activity of its kind. Last year 4,100 volunteers served 17,000 hours on USACE-managed lands, removing 47,300 pounds of trash, cleaning 434 miles of roadways and shoreline, maintaining 60 miles of trails, improving 503 acres of habitat, and engaging 141 partner organizations.

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. USACE manages more than 400 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 and affordable outdoor recreation opportunities close to home.

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