Free admission to state parks Saturday to encourage volunteer efforts

By Makenna Mays
TheStatehouseFile.com

INDIANAPOLIS – Hoosiers can enjoy free admission to all state parks and forestry sites in Indiana Saturday in honor of National Public Lands Day.

“It’s a day to celebrate the public lands around the nation, to approach people to use outdoor recreation, celebrate conservation, and for us state parks in Indiana just to make memories with their families,” said Jody Heaton, state park volunteer coordinator.

Geese on Versailles Lake in Versailles State Park.
Photo by Makenna Mays, TheStatehouseFile.com

National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort to clean up public land. However, anyone can take advantage of the free admission.

Volunteer opportunities will be available such as trail work at Turkey Run and Brookville Lake and river cleanups at O’Bannon Woods State Park.

Volunteers for Brown County State Park are meeting in the wildflower meadows at 10 a.m. where they will be removing invasive species of plants.

“We have some plants that are overtaking our flowers and then people don’t know what flowers we have that are originally from Indiana,” said Louann Lucas, secretary for Brown County’s park office.

Lucas said this will be an educational opportunity for volunteers especially if they encounter the same invasive species while out in the woods.

“This is to make memories with family and friends,” said Lucas.

Most gatehouses will still have a staff member to answer any questions that volunteers may have.

“It’s going to be a great fall day,” said Heaton. “A great time to picnic and enjoy a program or a volunteer activity.”

Other activities will also be taking place at some state parks including hikes, pioneer activities, crafts and live bird shows.

Anyone who wishes to volunteer can call the state park beforehand to see what they will be doing and what time that activity will be taking place.

“We’re encouraging everyone to come out and celebrate being on public land and to see how great Indiana’s state parks are,” said Heaton.

For more information and a complete list of programs visit DNR.IN.gov.

Makenna Mays is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

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