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Posted on: September 1, 2021

State lands honor Public Lands Day with a Discover Pass free day

Parking will be free on state recreation lands Saturday, Sept. 25.

OLYMPIA – Sept. 1, 2021 – In recognition of National and Washington Public Lands Day, Washington State Parks, Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will offer free entrance to state lands on Saturday, Sept. 25. On this day, visitors to Washington state lands will not need a Discover Pass to park. Discover Pass free days apply to all visitor parking on DNR and WDFW lands and in day-use areas at Washington state parks.

In 1994, National Public Lands Day was established as the fourth Saturday in September. The National Environmental Education Foundation coordinates the special day every year. In 2019, the Washington state Legislature passed a bill proclaiming the fourth Saturday in September as Washington Public Lands Day.

Visitors can help celebrate public lands by:

  1. Being prepared and having a Plan B if their destination of choice is crowded or closed,
  2. Packing out what they pack in and bringing their own health and hygiene supplies.
  3. Respecting the land, people and communities where they are recreating.
  4. Volunteering and being good stewards of public lands.
  5. Creating a welcoming environment for all who share our outdoor public spaces.
  6. Respecting all burn bans in place to reduce wildfire risk.

The remaining 2021 State lands free days are:

  • Thursday, Nov. 11 — Veterans Day
  • Friday, Nov. 26 – Autumn Day

About the Discover Pass
State lands free days align with 2011 legislation that created the Discover Pass, which costs $30 to $35 annually, or $10 to $11.50 for a one-day visit, depending on point of purchase. The pass is required for vehicle access to state recreation lands managed by Washington State Parks, WDFW and DNR. The Discover Pass legislation directed State Parks to designate up to 12 free days when the pass would not be required to visit state parks. The Discover Pass provides daytime access to state parks and day and overnight access to DNR and WDFW lands. Overnight visitors in state parks are charged fees for camping and other overnight accommodations and day access is included in the overnight fee. 

News media contact:
Meryl Lassen (503) 490-8796 media@parks.wa.gov

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About Washington State Parks

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages more than 100 state parks and properties totaling approximately 120,000 acres. The Commission provides a variety of recreation opportunities for citizens and provides stewardship protection for a diverse array of natural, cultural and historic resources. State Parks’ statewide programs include long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation. 

About Washington Department of Natural Resources
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources manages nearly 1,300 miles of trails and 160-plus recreation sites in 3 million acres of working forest state trust lands. DNR trust lands keep forests development-free, provide clean water and generate revenue for public services and school construction.

About Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
By actively managing lands, restoring habitats, and preserving wild places, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildife serves as stewards for Washington’s natural places, protecting the state’s land and water for its human and wildlife populations.

News release number: 21-049

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