Rock Island, Ill. -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is accepting the America the Beautiful Federal Recreation Pass Program’s new Interagency Annual Pass for Military (Military Pass) at its more than 2,500 Corps-managed recreation areas nationwide.
Beginning on Armed Forces Day, May 19, service men and women - Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and activated National Guard and Reserves, and their dependents who present the new Military Pass will receive a fee waiver to Corps-managed, day-use areas (boat launches and swimming areas). The Military Pass, which is free, may be obtained in person at U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service facilities. Additional information on the Federal Recreation Pass Program is available at http://store.usgs.gov/pass/annual.html.
Military members and their dependents may also present a Department of the Defense Identification Card or Common Access Card (CAC) to receive the day-use fee waiver at Corps-managed day-use areas.
The Corps’ Rock Island District manages recreation sites at its five reservoirs and along the Mississippi and Illinois rivers. In fiscal year 2011, the District’s 1,959 campsites, 20 boat ramps, eight public beaches, and five Visitor Centers experienced nearly 15 million visits.
The Corps also continues to waive camping fees at Corps-managed campgrounds for active duty military members and their dependents on mid- or post-deployment leave. Members or their dependents must present the new Military Pass or their CAC and a copy of their mid- or post-deployment (reintegration) leave orders. Camping fees are waived on a walk-up and space available basis, as well as for reservations made through the National Recreation Reservation Service call center at 1-877-444-6777. However, fees will not be waived for on-line reservations made through the on-line Recreation.gov Web site.
Corps fee waivers are encouraged, but not required, at more than 1,800 nationwide recreation areas managed by other entities on Corps lands.
"Our military service members and their families sacrifice so much for our country. The waiver of day-use fees at Corps lakes and recreation areas will make it easier and more affordable for them to get to the great outdoors with their families and relax," said Maj. Gen. Michael J. Walsh, Deputy Commanding General for Civil and Emergency Operations.
The Corps is the nation’s largest federal provider of outdoor recreation, managing more than 400 lake and river projects in 43 states and hosting more than 370 million visits per year. With 90 percent of these recreation areas within 50 miles of metropolitan areas they provide a diverse range of outdoor activities close to home and to people of all ages. For more information on Corps recreation sites and activities, visit www.CorpsLakes.us.