Free state parks on Juneteenth

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The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission has created Juneteenth, recognized every June 19, a free state park day.

This means a Discover Pass, which costs an annual fee of $30 or $10 for a one-day permit, will not be needed on June 19 for vehicle access to Washington State Department of Natural Resources lands or Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife lands.

The new free day honors Juneteenth, when the Emancipation Proclamation was read to people who were enslaved in Texas in 1865, nearly 2.5 years after Abraham Lincoln first issued the end of slavery. According to the commission’s press release, state land agencies are committing to promote diversity, equity and inclusion as core values. This comes as June 19 will become a paid state holiday for state workers in 2022.

There are 12 days per year when a pass is not needed.

Juneteenth will be adding on to three more free days in June. This includes June 5, in recognition of National Trails Day; June 12, in honor of National Get Outdoors Day and Free Fishing Weekend; and June 13, for Free Fishing Weekend.

The remaining free days for 2021 are August 25 for National Park Service Birthday, September 25 for National Public Lands Day, November 11 for Veterans Day, and November 26 for Autumn Day.

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