In honor of Veterans Day, the Baker-Polito Administration will once again waive parking fees for all visitors on Monday, November 11, 2019, at all Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) state parks throughout the Commonwealth. Additionally, interpretive programming will also be offered at state parks during the upcoming holiday weekend. Furthermore, visitors are encouraged to participate in self-guided walks and hikes within the state parks system, where there are numerous veterans memorials, military forts, and other notable sites. The fee waiver falls in line with a National Park Service initiative that also provides free admission at federal parks nationwide on Veterans Day.
“Our veterans and active-duty military personnel have sacrificed a tremendous amount on our behalf, and while a single gesture will not be able to express our gratitude for their service, we hope those who have served are able to take some time to enjoy the beauty and tranquility of the Commonwealth’s state parks,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Katherine Theoharides. “The Baker-Polito Administration’s institution of waving parking fees at state parks in honor of Veterans Day offers an opportunity for us all to get outside and reflect on the tremendous sacrifice made by men and women in uniform.”
“This is a wonderful opportunity for Commonwealth residents to honor veterans by exploring natural beauty and historic monuments across the state, many of which are the site of important moments in our history,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Francisco Ureña. “Thank you to the Department of Conservation and Recreation for making available to all such fitting places to spend time on a day dedicated to those who have served our nation.”
The Commonwealth has an illustrious military history, with many notable sites stewarded by the DCR that serve as relics of important moments in time, including Fort Independence at Castle Island, which was used to fortify the area’s coast; Fort Warren at Georges Island, which guarded major shipping channels in Boston Harbor during the Civil War; Massachusetts Veterans War Memorial Tower located at the summit of Mount Greylock, which is one of the 100 World War I Centennial Memorials in the nation, and hundreds of roadways, trails, markers, pools, skating rinks, and parks named after distinct Massachusetts veterans or military campaigns involving Massachusetts veterans.
“DCR is proud to care for many cultural and historic resources that memorialize those who have served in our armed forces, and is honored to maintain the tradition of providing free parking for veterans, their families, and the public at all state parks this upcoming Veterans Day,” said Department of Conservation and Recreation Acting Commissioner Jim Montgomery. “During the holiday, I encourage residents and visitors to get outdoors and experience a new interpretive program or visit a favorite monument contained within the state parks system.”
Additionally, the DCR offers free parking at its facilities year-round to cars with disabled veterans license plates from all states. To find a full list of DCR managed state parks, please visit the agency’s website. For a full list of upcoming programs and events, please visit the agency’s online calendar (the calendar is continuously updated as programs are finalized).