Gov. Ivey announces plan to make Parks for Patriots program into law

DeSoto Falls

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — To show appreciation for their service, Governor Kay Ivey, the Alabama Legislature, and the Alabama State Parks are working together to provide veterans with free admission to all state parks permanently.

The Parks for Patriots program began on November 1 and provides veterans with free admission to any state park, park facility or day use area that charges an entrance fee. That also includes boat ramps and the Gulf State Park Pier.

“I am so proud that as a state we can stand up together and show our support of veterans,” Governor Ivey said. “This new policy is just another mark in the long history of Alabama supporting our military men and women. More than 1 in 10 Alabamians are veterans and there is still so much that we can do to give them the respect they deserve. I hope this small token will show each distinguished member of our military family how appreciative we are of their service to our country.”

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has been working with leaders of both the Alabama House and Senate to make the Parks for Patriots free admission policy into law.

Rep. Dickie Drake plans to file a bill in the 2018 Regular Session. “We appreciate the Alabama State Parks’ willingness to implement a Parks for Patriots pilot project as House Speaker Mac McCutcheon and I have worked to build legislative support for the initiative. I will be sponsoring legislation in the coming session that will make the Parks for Patriots program a state law so that active duty military personnel, veterans, National Guard members, and reservists for generations to come may be properly thanked for their service while enjoying Alabama’s beautiful state parks.”

“This is a great way to show support for the sacrifices our veterans and their families have and continue to make as they serve our nation,” Senator Bill Holtzclaw said.

“I am so thankful for all of our veterans and I am glad we can offer them free admission to our State Parks,” said Chris Blankenship, Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. “As Veterans Day approaches, we urge all Alabamians to consider sponsoring our veterans by contributing to this new program. It’s just one of the ways we can all show our gratitude for their selfless service to the country.”

If you would like to make a donation, here is how you can help:

  • Contribute and your convienince online 24/7 by clicking this link
  • Donate at any manned gate (most gates are cash only)
  • You can donate by cash or card at most point-of-sale cash registers in park offices, restaurants, camp stores and golf shops
  • All sponsorship contributions will stay at the park of your choice

Veterans should ask to receive free admission to gated parks or day-use facilities. The Parks for Patriots program applies to entry fees only. Park concessions and other fee-based outdoor adventures within the parks are not covered by the program.

The Alabama State Parks Parks for Patriots program will remain in effect until its passage into state law makes it permanent.