Visit a state or national park on Veterans Day and enjoy free admittance. Both the National Park Service and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection are celebrating Veterans Day on Monday, November 11, 2013 by offering free park entry to everyone. There are a variety of opportunities available to park guests ranging from a leisurely stroll through botanical gardens to fishing the brackish waters of Mosquito Lagoon.
The National Park Service is offering free entry to parks all weekend. Central Florida residents and visitors can enjoy spending a day exploring Canaveral National Seashore on the east coast or learn about history at Castillo De San Marcos National Monument in St. Augustine. Offered each weekend at the fort, historic reenactors explain and demonstrate the weapons while relating the experiences of the colonial Spanish soldier of 1740's. Firing times are scheduled for 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., but are subject to change depending on weather conditions and staff availability.
Active duty members of the military and their dependents qualify for a free annual national park pass, an $80.00 value. The passes can be acquired at any national park charging an entrance fee. More information may be found at the National Park website.
Besides offering free admission, two Florida State Parks will host events in honor of Veterans Day:
Washington Oaks Gardens State Park in Palm Coast will hold a Veteran's Day Garden and History Walk from 11:00 a.m. to noon on November 11, 2013. Park Service Specialist Joe Woodbury will lead a guided walk through the formal gardens. The walk departs from the main garden parking lot.
Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park will be collecting donations for the servicemen in Afghanistan. A flyer with more information can be found here.
“Florida’s state parks offer wonderful outdoor spaces for honoring veterans year round,” said Donald Forgione, Director of the Florida Park Service in the Florida State Parks newsletter. “From hiking and bicycling to picnicking and bird watching, I encourage residents to spend time outdoors enjoying nature.”
There is a 25 percent discount on Annual Entrance Passes for active duty and honorably discharged veterans of the United States Armed Forces, National Guard or reserve units of the U.S. Armed Forces or National Guard. Free Lifetime Military Entrance Passes are available for all honorably discharged United States veterans who have service-connected disabilities. For more information regarding these passes visit the Florida State Park website.