JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will waive day-use fees for veterans, active and reserve component service members, and their families at the more than 2,800 Corps-operated recreation areas nationwide on Veterans Day, November 11.
The fee waiver requires only verbal confirmation of service. The waiver covers fees for boat launch ramps and swimming beaches. The waiver does not apply to camping and camping-related services, or fees for specialized facilities such as group picnic shelters. The Corps does not charge an entrance fee to access its parks. Other agencies that manage recreation areas on Corps lands are encouraged, but not required, to offer the waiver in the areas that they manage.
“To honor the nation’s veterans, we will continue our Veterans Day tradition of inviting veterans, active and reserve service members, and their families to visit one of the thousands of Corps recreation sites throughout the country, free of day use charges,” said Maj. Gen. Ed Jackson, Deputy Commanding General for Civil and Emergency Operations, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“We encourage people of all ages to get outdoors this Veterans Day and enjoy a day of fun and relaxation while participating in the wide variety of activities that are available at our many recreation areas,” added Jackson.
Veterans, service members and their families can take advantage of the day-use fee waivers at several locations within the Jacksonville District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
For those who enjoy boating, there are three Corps boat ramps along the Caloosahatchee River, including the Ortona Lock and Dam North Recreation Area near Moore Haven, and the W.P. Franklin Lock and Dam North and South Recreation Areas near Alva.
The W.P Franklin Lock and Dam South Recreation Area also features a visitor center with interactive exhibits and a swimming beach with a manatee sculpture where children can climb and play.
Those who live on the east side of Lake Okeechobee can use the boat ramp and visitor center at the St. Lucie Lock and Dam Recreation Area in Stuart.
The day-use fee waiver on Veterans Day will include the $3 boat ramp fee at the St. Lucie South Recreation Area, Ortona North Recreation Area, W.P. Franklin North boat ramp, and W.P. Franklin South Recreation Area, as well as the $1 swimming beach fee at W.P. Franklin.
“Wherever you choose to recreate on Veterans Day, please remember to check your safety equipment before participating in water activities and always wear a life jacket,” said George Melanson, Natural Resource Manager in the South Florida Operations Office in Clewiston.“Remember that we have free loaner life jackets available at our recreation areas to ensure you have a safe visit while boating or just swimming.”
For information on the W.P. Franklin Lock and Dam Recreation Area in Alva, call 239-694-2582. To find out more about the St. Lucie Recreation Area in Stuart, call 772-219-4575. Additional information can be found online at www.saj.usace.army.mil and then clicking “Recreation.”
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is the nation’s largest federal provider of outdoor recreation hosting more than 370 million visits annually to its 403 lakes and river projects. It is estimated that 90 percent of the Corps-operated recreation areas are within 50 miles of metropolitan areas offering diverse outdoor activities for all ages close to home. To discover a Corps recreation site nearest you, please visit http://corpslakes.usace.army.mil/visitors/visitors.cfm.