National Parks Waiving Entrance Fees in Recognition of ‘Great American Outdoors Day’

by Amy Myers

Grab your hiking boots and leave your cash at home–all National Parks are allowing free entry to celebrate Great American Outdoors Day.

At Outsider, we cherish every opportunity we can get to celebrate some of our favorite places to be. Our National Parks give us the chance to find both excitement and tranquility away from concrete and screens. While these lands offer us escape, we also find a sense of connectivity to both nature and other Outsiders. From the peculiar rock formations at Zion to the lush, green mountaintops at Shenandoah, each park is an oasis of untouched grounds that anyone and everyone can come to admire.

In order to ensure that future generations can appreciate and enjoy our National Parks, the U.S. Interior Department created Great American Outdoors Day. The holiday celebrates the first anniversary of the signing of the Great Americans Outdoors Act (GAOA). According to the Department, the GAOA makes “unprecedented investments” in our public lands. The law aims to distribute funds to “much-needed maintenance” for “national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, recreation areas, and Tribal schools.”

Now, on August 4th every year, visitors can enjoy their favorite national parks without worrying about entry fees. While patrons can enjoy free admission, other park fees like overnight camping and equipment rentals are still in place.

On Twitter, the Department posted about the GAOA’s anniversary.

Interior Department Invites Visitors to Enjoy ‘Beauty and Bounty’ of National Parks

During the height of the pandemic, National Parks everywhere saw an increase in traffic. At the time, folks were anxious to find a space that didn’t require masks and cautious interactions. Now that social standards are gradually returning to normalcy, it’s possible people favor previously restricted areas to more natural excursions. Instead, places like malls, concert venues and restaurants now see more visitors. However, the U.S. Interior Department reminds Americans that they are always welcome at our National Parks.

“I invite all Americans to experience the beauty and bounty of our nation’s public lands – not just on August 4 but every day of the year,” said Secretary of the Interior, Deb Haaland.

More than just a space to escape and enjoy your favorite outdoor activity, according to the Interior Department’s press release, the GAOA and public lands also help create jobs and nourish the economy.

“For Fiscal Year 2022, GAOA-funded projects for Interior are expected to support more than 17,000 jobs and generate $1.8 billion in local communities,” the release read.

As a result, Great American Outdoors Day not only celebrates our public lands but reignites our commitment every year.

“Through the Great American Outdoors Act, we are investing in the American people, and in the future of our public lands and sacred spaces,” Haaland said.