Free Park Entrance, Volunteer Opportunities on National Public Lands Day September 26

National Public Lands Day, September 26, 2015

In honor of National Public Lands Day on September 26, there will be no entrance fees for all visitors to Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Parks. Opportunities are being provided to volunteer at Everglades National Park, in the largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands in the United States.

Volunteer Opportunities:
In recognition of the need for shared stewardship of the nation's valued, irreplaceable public lands, Everglades National Park's award-winning volunteer program will also host multiple volunteer and educational projects on September 26 for those who enjoy serving and learning. Please bring your lunch, water, mosquito repellent and sunscreen, and wear closed-toe shoes and clothes that you do not mind getting dirty. Anyone under the age of 18 must have a parent or legal guardian fill out the approval section of the Volunteer Agreement before volunteering. If interested in volunteering for handicap accessible projects, please contact the Volunteer Office at: 305-242-7752 or 305-242-7733.

Trash Clean-up at Royal Palm:
Volunteers will assist in keeping the Park clean and beautiful by participating in a trash clean-up. This will require walking short distances, light bending, lifting, and getting dirty. Please meet at the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center by 8:30 a.m. to fill out forms and start working by 9:00 a.m.

Habitat Restoration and Trash Clean-up at Shark Valley:
Volunteers will assist in protecting natural flora by removing the invasive arrowhead vine around the Shark Valley Visitor Center and parking lot grounds, and participating in a trash clean-up. This requires walking, bending, pulling, and lifting. Meet at the Shark Valley Visitor Center by 8:00 a.m. to sign forms. Work projects will start at 8:30 a.m. and continue until 12:30 p.m.

Habitat Restoration at Gulf Coast:
Volunteers will paddle out to Sandfly Island and assist in trail maintenance and trash pickup and possibly removing invasive species. This requires paddling, bending, lifting, and pulling. Everglades National Park will provide all equipment such as paddles, personal flotation devices, life jackets, and canoes. If you prefer kayaks, they are available to rent. Meet at the Gulf Coast Visitor Center at 9:30 a.m. to fill out forms. Paddling will start at 10:00 a.m. and will continue until 2:00 p.m. Please bring a lunch, water, sunscreen, and snacks. It is highly recommended that participants also bring bug spray and/or a bug jacket due to the high levels of insects. Participants must wear closed-toe shoes and weather appropriate attire that they do not mind getting dirty. Number of participants is limited to 16 people or 10 canoes, whichever fills up first. Please call (239) 695-3311 to reserve a spot.

WHAT: In honor of National Public Lands Day on September 26, there will be no entrance fees for Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Parks for all visitors. Opportunities are being provided to volunteer at Everglades National Park.

WHEN: Saturday, September 26

WHERE: At Everglades National Park, entrance fees will be waived at the main park entrance near Homestead, and at the entrance station at Shark Valley. Volunteer opportunities are being provided at Royal Palm, Shark Valley, and Gulf Coast. For directions please visit: http://www.nps.gov/ever/planyourvisit/directions.htm

At Dry Tortugas National Park, the park entrance fee of $5 will be waived; please check in with our park concession operators for transportation schedules, prices, and reservations. All transportation departs from Key West.
Yankee Freedom III Ferry Service: phone 800-634-0939 or 305-294-7009 or www.drytortugas.com
Key West Seaplane Adventures: phone 305-293-9300 or www.keywestseaplanecharters.com.

For information and directions please visit the parks' websites or call (305) 242-7700 (during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.).

For more information about Everglades National Park:
http://www.nps.gov/ever/index.htm

For more information about Dry Tortugas National Park: http://www.nps.gov/drto/index.htm

On Saturday, September 26, 2015, the National Park Service celebrates National Public Lands Day by providing free admission to all national parks. Nationwide, more than 175,000 will paint, plant, mulch, and clean thousands of acres of public lands across the Unites States, at more than 2,200 sites, from Washington, D.C. to California. Everglades National Park is inviting everyone to visit the park and volunteer at one of the National Public Lands Day events. To learn more about National Public Lands Day, please visit www.publiclandsday.org.