Visit National Parks for Free on Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Mountain of Despair (left) and Stone of Hope (right) at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, Washington, D.C.  Photo: NPS volunteer Bill Shugarts.Mountain of Despair (left) and Stone of Hope (right) at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, Washington, D.C. Photo: NPS volunteer Bill Shugarts.

WASHINGTON – On Jan. 15, commemorate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. with free admission and special events at national parks.

“A national park is a meaningful place to remember and honor King, whether one participates in a day of service or visits a site with a direct connection to the man who moved hearts and minds in the struggle for civil rights and equality,” said National Park Service Deputy Director Michael T. Reynolds.

Reflect on King’s life and legacy at parks with personal ties to him:
* Visit the home where he was born and spent the first 12 years of his life, as well as the church where he preached, at Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site, Atlanta, GA.
* Trace the steps he marched in the fight for voting rights on the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail, White Hall, AL.
* Stand on the exact spot where he stood while delivering the “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C.
* Gaze at his larger-than-life carving and read his inspirational quotes at the Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Special events on Jan. 15 include the ceremonial tapping of the Liberty Bell at Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, PA, and the program “Through Our Voices: Get the Word Out!” at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park featuring poets, musicians, and a panel of African-American park rangers who will share stories about the struggles for social justice.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is an official day of service in remembrance of the man whose commitment to community bridged barriers. Many parks will host service projects on this day.
* More than 500 people will gather in Anacostia Park in Washington, D.C., to clean the shoreline, remove invasive plants and construct picnic tables.
* Partners and volunteers will clean a beach and restore scenic garden walkways by weeding and pruning at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.
* Volunteers will create native seeds balls, clean irrigation ditches, and perform trail maintenance at Montezuma Castle National Monument in Arizona.

All National Park Service sites will have free admission on Jan. 15 in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It will be the first of four nationwide. Normally, 116 national parks charge admission fees which range from $3 to $30. The other 301 national parks do not have an entrance fee.

NOTE: Before planning a visit to any park in a region where a winter snowstorm could be a possibility, check to make sure that weather conditions have not closed the park. 

To research national parks, to get information about visiting or to learn about volunteering, go to nps.gov

This was based on a news release from National Parks Service.

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