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National parks free for a day

For those who don't have to be in school on Monday, it'll be a great day to visit a national park, because they'll all be free then.

To mark the 98th anniversary of its creation, the National Park Service is waiving entrance fees for the day on Aug. 25.  Of course, only 133 of the country's 401 national parks usually charge admission anyway.

It's not actually the birthday of our national parks. Yellowstone National Park was the world's first national park when it was created in 1872, and there were 36 more by Aug. 25, 1916. That's the day when President Woodrow Wilson signed legislation setting up the National Park Service, formalizing the country's commitment to maintain what documentary filmmaker Ken Burns called "America's best idea."

In Maryland, the park service oversees 28 parks, parkways, historic sites and trails, from the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal in the west to Baltimore's Fort McHenry to Assateague Island National Seashore near Ocean City. Together, they drew 6.6 million visitors last year.

For more, go here.




Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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