The Biden-Harris administration has announced that beginning on Veterans Day (November 11), U.S. military veterans and Gold Star families can receive a free lifetime pass to thousands of federal recreation sites spanning more than 400 million acres public land distribute countries, including national parks, nature reserves and forests.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District is participating in the new pass program and will be available at the Mississippi River Visitor Center in Rock Island, the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center in Ottawa, Illinois, and the Saylorville Lake project offices , Coralville Lake and Lake Red Rock in Iowa, according to a press release.
“The US Army Corps of Engineers and our federal crewmates are proud to honor our veterans with complimentary lifetime access to more than 2,500 federal recreation areas across the country,” said Lt. Gen. Scott A. Spellmon, commanding general of the US Army Corps of Engineers. “This is a small token of appreciation for veterans who bravely gave their lives defending our freedom.”
The Lifetime Pass provides complimentary access to day-use areas at USACE-managed locations.
To obtain lifetime identification when visiting any federal recreation facility, veterans may present one of four acceptable forms of identification: Department of Defense identification card, Veteran’s Medical Card (VHIC), veteran identification card, or veteran designation on a state-issued U.S. driver’s license or ID card. The pass is also available here. Gold Star Families can obtain information, self-certify that they qualify, and download a coupon at the US Geological Survey online store here.
The Alexander Lofgren Veterans in Parks Act, passed in December 2021, grants lifetime free access to state land to veterans and Gold Star families. The new Lifetime Pass for Veterans and Gold Star Families is a complement to the free annual Military Pass available to active duty members and their families since Armed Forces Day, May 19, 2012.
Other lifetime passes offered by federal recreational land agencies include the Senior Pass for US citizens or permanent residents over the age of 62 and an Access Pass for US citizens or permanent residents with a permanent disability. More information can be found here.
USACE offers toll-free days throughout the year for everyone to mark holidays and memorial days, including the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.; the birthday of USACE; 16th National Independence Day; Veterans Day; and National Public Lands Day.
USACE is one of the premier federal providers of outdoor and water recreation, hosting millions of visitors annually to its more than 400 lake and river projects. It is estimated that 90 percent of USACE-operated recreation areas are within 50 miles of metropolitan areas and offer a variety of outdoor activities for all ages close to home.
To discover a USACE resort near you, visit here or here.