4:35 PM / Wednesday February 1, 2023

15 Jan 2016

National parks to commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day January 18: Free Admission

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January 15, 2016 Category: Stateside Posted by:

ABOVE PHOTO:  The Edmunds Pettus Bridge on the 45-mile long Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail in Alabama. (Photo: Terry W. Ryder / shutterstock)

On Monday, January 18, national parks throughout the country will commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. All national parks will provide free admission for all visitors and many parks will host special events or volunteer service projects.

“We invite all Americans to honor the legacy of Dr. King in a national park,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “Attend a special event, take part in a volunteer project, or visit a site with a direct connection to this great leader. We are all encouraged to remember the values of service and commitment to community that Dr. King exemplified throughout his life. Let’s make this holiday truly a day on, not a day off.”

Monday is  the first of 16 days in 2016 that the parks will offer free admission to everyone.

There are several national parks directly associated with Dr. King. They are:

• Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site in Georgia, which contains his birthplace, home, church, and grave.

• The 45-mile long Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail in Alabama, where he led the 1965 Voting Rights March.

• National Mall and Memorial Parks in Washington, D.C., which include the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial, where he spoke of his dream for America.

Parks across the country are offering special programs to reflect on the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Those special programs are being held at the George Washington Carver National Monument near Diamond, Missouri; the Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site in Richmond, Va; and the National Mall and Memorial Parks. There will also be a special bell-ringing ceremony at Independence Hall National Historical Park in Philadelphia.

Many parks will also host volunteer work projects. The following is a partial list:

• Community Vegetable Garden Planting and Wellness Fair at Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve in Louisiana.

• Invasive Plant Species Removal, Drainage & Inlet Cleaning at Valley Forge National Historical Park in Pennsylvania.

• Anacostia River Clean-up with the Student Conservation Association at Anacostia Park in Washington, DC.

• Dr. Martin Luther King Film Series and Dialogue at George Washington Carver National Monument in Missouri.        

• Tsunami Debris Clean-up, Habitat Restoration, and more at Golden Gate National Recreation Area in California.

The additional entrance fee-free days for 2016 will be April 16 through 24, August 25 through 28, September 24, and November 11. Come to a national park and discover the sites and stories of our shared heritage.

Please visit for more events and detailed information.

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