What better way to celebrate Earth Day than with a trip to one of America’s stunning national parks? Explore the awe-inspiring rock formations of the Grand Canyon, wander through the spindly cartoon-like Joshua trees at Joshua Tree National Park, get inspired at FDR’s Hudson River estate and presidential library, go gator-spotting in the Florida Everglades or watch the waves crash against the national seashore. All of these incredible historic sites and natural wonders have been lovingly preserved by the National Park Service, often called “America’s Best Idea.”
Starting Saturday (and ending Sunday, April 29), more than 100 of the national parks that typically charge an admission fee will be completely free to enter, and a visit to any one of them will inspire you to help preserve all 84 million acres of them. If you’d like to get involved and help out with a project, visit Saturday for Volunteer Day. Or take your kids on April 28 to participate in National Junior Ranger Day, when kids will be taught to “explore, learn and protect” the parks and landmarks that we have inherited.
In addition to free entrance, many parks are offering other promotions, discounts and special events throughout the week. Yosemite National Park, for example, is hosting a 3-day series of events in celebration of Earth Day. During “Stand Up for What You Stand On” visitors to Yosemite can expect to learn about the park’s green initiatives, sample food from a free sustainable salad bar, learn about products that can help protect the environment and participate in a stewardship project.
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and enjoy the great outdoors –- there’s a free national park waiting for you, no matter where you live.