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September 23, 2014 at 4:02 PM

Get in free to parks and forests — and maybe volunteer — on Saturday

Volunteers will help maintain trails around the Paradise area of Mount Rainier National Park on Saturday. (photo by Greg Gilbert/The Seattle Times)

Volunteers will help maintain trails around the Paradise area of Mount Rainier National Park on Saturday. (photo by Greg Gilbert/The Seattle Times)

Get in free to Washington’s national parks, state parks and national forest sites this Saturday, Sept. 27, in honor of National Public Lands Day.

You can also pitch in and join a work party to help improve public lands, such as at Mount Rainier National Park, where the National Parks Conservation Association will help coordinate registration beginning at 8 a.m. at Longmire, and volunteers will divide into work groups around 9 a.m. Volunteers will receive a coupon good for a future free day of their choice.

Washington Trails Association and National Park Service supervisors will lead trail maintenance projects at Paradise, while other crews will winterize a campground at Longmire.

About a dozen volunteers are also needed to help plant new vegetation at a former campground at Sunrise. They will meet at Sunrise Visitor Center at 9 a.m., and hike a mile in to the project site. RSVP for this project to Kevin Bacher, the park’s volunteer and outreach program manager, at Kevin_Bacher@nps.gov.

Free camping at the Longmire Campground is available Friday through Sunday for project volunteers.

In Washington’s state parks, no Discover Pass will be required of visitors on Saturday, and the Northwest Forest Pass will not be required at national forest trailheads and other sites. Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Fish and Wildlife sites will also waive any admission fees that day.

Volunteers are also invited to help remove old barbed wire from deer winter range and learn about the effects of a 2012 wildfire in the Entiat Ranger District of Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, in Chelan County. Contact wildlife biologist Jesse McCarty, 509-784-4630, for more information.

Click here for more details on the nationwide observance.

 

Comments | Topics: free admission, national forests, national parks

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