State parks to waive vehicle permit in honor of 90th anniversary
In celebration of the 90th anniversary of the state park system�s creation in 1913, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission will waive its vehicle parking permit fee on Saturday, March 22 at Birch Bay State Park and Peace Arch State Park.
On that day, Washington State Parks will offer free vehicle parking at parks statewide that normally charge a daily parking fee. The agency willl also waive its watercraft launch fee, which is interchangeable with the vehicle parking permit fee. The state parks department officially turns 90 years old on March 19.
Since January 1, visitors have been required to pay $5 for daily parking permits or $50 for an annual parking permit. The daily permit is discounted from $7 for 2003, 2004 and 2005. The annual permit is discounted from $70 through 2005. Daily and annual parking permits are available for purchase at www.parks.wa.gov and at state parks headquarters, regional offices and at the parks when staff is available.
As state parks celebrate its 90th anniversary, the agency is gearing up for its centennial in 2013. At its January commission meeting, the state parks commission adopted a vision to guide the system toward its 100th birthday. In 2013 the Washington state parks system will be comprised solely of natural, historical, cultural and recreational resources of statewide and regional significance; protect state park system resources; provide recreation and learning; and offer access to destination or premier, unique, uncommon quality that portray the lands, waters, wildlife, culture and history of this state.
The Commission manages a diverse system of more than 120 parks and several recreation programs, including boating, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. The 89-year-old park system, which sees 48 million visits a year, nationally ranks fourth in day-use attendance, 10th in overnight attendance and 47th in state budget expenditure per visitor.