Washington State Parks (WSP) will have 12 free days in 2022 where a Discover Pass is not required to park at state parks and on recreation lands managed by the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
The holidays that the free days commemorate include former chair of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission Billy Frank Jr.’s birthday on March 9, Juneteenth on June 19, and World Mental Health Day on October 10. Many of the free days will honor marginalized peoples and their histories, such as Indigenous and Black communities.
“[These free day additions are] a reflection of the state’s continued progress and commitment toward creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive experience for all who recreate in Washington’s great outdoors,” said John Scott, WSP diversity, equity and inclusion director, in a statement.
The free days also recognize the importance of mental health and the ways nature can heal those who are suffering. Studies worldwide show time spent in nature increases serotonin and decreases cortisol levels, along with many other health benefits, according to a WSP press release.
In 2022, the upcoming Discover Pass free days are:
• Monday, January 17 – Martin Luther King Day
• Wednesday, March 9 – Billy Frank Jr.’s birthday
• Saturday, March 19 – Washington State Parks’ birthday
• Friday, April 22 – Earth Day
• Saturday, June 11 – National Get Outdoors Day
• Sunday, June 12 – Free Fishing Weekend
• Sunday, June 19 - Juneteenth
• Saturday, Sept. 24 – National Public Lands Day
• Monday, October 10 – World Mental Health Day
• Friday, November 11 – Veterans Day
• Friday, November 25 – Native American Heritage Day
Discover Passes typically cost $30 to $35 per year or about $10 for a one-day visit.
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