SAVANNAH, Ga. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced this week that it will waive day-use fees normally charged at boat launch ramps and swimming beaches at its recreation areas nationwide in recognition of National Public Lands Day on Saturday, Sept. 28. This waiver includes Lake Thurmond, Lake Russell and Lake Hartwell on the Savannah River.
The waiver does not apply to camping and camping-related services, or fees for specialized facilities such as group picnic shelters. Other agencies and partners that manage recreation areas located on USACE lands are encouraged, but not required, to comply with this waiver of day use fees in the areas they manage.
In addition, volunteers who participate in one of the Corps’ National Public Lands Day activities will be issued a fee-free coupon if the volunteer site is participating in the coupon program. Lake Russell and Lake Thurmond have announced special volunteer events for NPLD. The fee-free coupon is valid for one year from date of issue and may be used for one day of entrance or day-use fees at any participating federal agency’s park, forest or recreation area that charges either of these types of fees.
Thousands of volunteers are expected to support the more than 70 USACE projects participating in this year’s National Public Lands Day, the largest annual volunteer hands-on restoration activity of its kind. Volunteers at Corps of Engineers sites will take part in tree planting, erosion control, bank stabilization, building trails, restoring recreation areas, trash pickup, removing invasive species and non-native plants, improving wildlife habitats, harvesting prairie plant seeds and rehabilitating playgrounds. The Lake Russell and Lake Thurmond events include a picnic lunch for volunteers.
Last year, more than 7,500 volunteers served 34,000 hours on USACE-managed lands, removing 51,000 pounds of trash, cleaning 1,100 miles of roadways and shoreline, improving 320 acres of habitat, and engaging 218 partner organizations.
USACE has been involved with National Public Lands Day since its inception in 1994 and has consistently been one of the event’s largest providers of sites and volunteers. USACE manages more than 400 lake and river projects in 43 states. With 90 percent of these projects located within 50 miles of metropolitan areas, USACE sites provide a wide range of safe and affordable outdoor recreation opportunities close to home.
For more information on National Public Lands Day, visit http://www.publiclandsday.org/ or Lake Russell Project office at 706-213-3406 or Lake Thurmond Project office at 864-333-1129. For more information on USACE recreation opportunities visit www.CorpsLakes.us.
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