2012-05-25 / Community

NPS Offers Free Passes To Military

To show their appreciation for those who serve in the U.S. Military, the National Park Service is issuing an annual pass offering free entrance to all 397 national parks for active duty military members and their dependents.

“Military history is a cornerstone of Gateway,” said Superintendent Linda Canzanelli. “Military families — not just active personnel, but their families as well — inspire us with their service. It is an honor for us in the National Park Service to serve them in return.”

Several areas of the National Park formerly served the nation as military bases: Fort Hancock at Sandy Hook, Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, Fort Tilden in Queens and Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island.

Even today, U.S. Coast Guard personnel serve on the Sandy Hook peninsula and at Fort Wadsworth. Visit www.nps.gov/find-apark/passes.htm for more information about the military pass. The pass is available at any national park that charges an entrance fee. The closest park to pick up a pass is Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site in Manhattan. Visitors should call the park at 212-260- 1616 to make sure passes are available. (Gateway does not charge an entrance fee, but will honor the pass at areas where parking fees are charged, including Jacob Riis Park in Queens and Sandy Hook in Highlands, N.J.) Find a list of national parks with entrance fees at http://www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparksbystate.htm

This military version of the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass also permits free entrance to sites managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the U.S. Forest Service. The pass is also available at these locations.

“Through the years, military members, especially those far from home in times of conflict, have found inspiration in America’s patriotic icons and majestic landscapes, places like the Statue of Liberty and the Grand Canyon that are cared for by the National Park Service and symbolize the nation that their sacrifices protect,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “This new pass is a way to thank military members and their families for their service and their sacrifices.”

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