Upcoming free days at Washington State Parks

Submitted by Washington State Parks

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission will be offering two free days this month: Sunday, Sept. 13, and Saturday, Sept. 26, in recognition of Girl Scouts Love State Parks Day and National Public Lands Day, respectively. On these two days, day-use visitors will not need a Discover Pass to visit state parks by vehicle.

Girl Scouts Love State Parks, Sept. 13

This is the second time Washington State Parks, National Association of State Park Directors and Girl Scouts USA have partnered for this fun, family-oriented weekend. Two days of entertaining and educational programming will precede the Sept. 13 free day:

Virtual Astronomy Hour from Goldendale Observatory State Park Heritage Site 6:30-8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 11.Facebook Live Join State Parks Interpretive Specialist Troy Carpenter for a lively presentation about stars — including our sun — and how stars appear in our sky and what you can see in dark skies versus city skies. Girl Scouts are encouraged to register for this event and will receive a special email on Sept. 8, with a link to the Astronomy Hour and Saturday’s Zoom workshop, a special printable State Park passport, and bonus outdoor video content to view at leisure. Girl Scouts can work on their Space Science badge as part of this event.

The Virtual Astronomy Hour is open to the public.

Virtual Camping and Outdoor Skills Workshop 10–11 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 12, Via Zoom (available only to Girl Scouts who register) Participants and their families can brush up their outdoor skills and also hear about career opportunities at Washington State Parks from Ranger Diana Dupuis, Inland Northwest area manager.

For more information about the Girl Scouts Love State Parks Day events, contact State Parks Executive Assistant Becki Ellison.

National Public Lands Day —Sept. 26

The other free day in September is National Public Lands Day, which is coordinated by the National Environmental Education Foundation. Typically, NPLD events bring out thousands of volunteers to help restore and improve public lands around the country. This year, with concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, many public land sites will not be able to host large, in-person events. People can check out the NPLD website to find “More Ways to Connect to Nature,” this year’s theme.

Washington State Parks urges visitors to recreate responsibly on National Public Lands Day, Girl Scouts Love State Parks Day and every day of the year.

The remaining 2020 State Parks free days are:

Saturday, Oct. 10 — World Mental Health Day

Wednesday, Nov. 11 — Veterans Day

Friday, Nov. 27 — Autumn Day