EMPIRE – You own a third of the land in America – public land where you can hike, bike, climb, hunt, swim, explore, picnic or just relaxation.

National Public Lands Day is an opportunity to enjoy and volunteer for the conservation of public lands. In recognition of this special day, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore will be leading a working bee on the trails from 9 a.m. to noon on September 24.

No reservation is necessary. Participants are expected to meet at Empire’s Welcome Center to join the thousands of volunteers across the country who take part in this annual tradition. Participants should dress appropriately for the weather and bring water and sunscreen. National park rangers will provide all necessary tools and equipment.

Attendees of the volunteer event will also earn a voucher for an additional free day pass on public lands anytime before September 23, 2023. The voucher earned for volunteer work could be used to obtain free entry in a national park of their choice.

The entrance fee to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore will be waived for all visitors on September 24 in honor of National Public Lands Day. Anyone planning to spend time in the park beyond that will need to purchase an entry pass for the remainder of the stay, as the entry fee is waived for a single day.

Free designation applies to entrance fees only and does not affect camping fees, reservations, tours or use of concessions. Park fee collection stations will be open and will offer annual passes – as well as interagency senior and access passes. For questions about the free day, please call 231-326-4700, ext. 5010.

For more information on Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, go to nps.gov/slbe or the Facebook page @sbdnl.

More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 423 national parks and work with communities across the country to help preserve local history and create nearby recreational opportunities. Visit the National Park Service webpage at nps.gov for more information.