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Media inquiries: Please contact Gary Waugh, gary.waugh@dcr.virginia.gov, 804-786-5045.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: October 31, 2001
Contact: Jim Meisner Jr., DCR Public Relations Specialist, (804) 786-8442, jim.meisner@dcr.virginia.gov

Virginia State Parks offers free admission Veterans Day weekend to support national "weekend of unity and hope"

(RICHMOND) - Virginia State Parks will waive all parking and admission fees over the Veteran's Day holiday weekend, Nov. 10-12, in support of the recovery efforts of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Virginia State Parks are managed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.

"Like our counterparts in the national parks, we'll open our gates this holiday weekend with free admission," said DCR Director David Brickley. "Our tears, thoughts and prayers have been with the victims, their families, and everyone in the nation effected by this tragedy. We encourage every Virginian to get into the great outdoors and demonstrate that, while we are united in this ongoing time of crisis, it is important to refresh our spirits by taking time to enjoy the beauty of nature."

Interior Secretary Gale Norton has declared Veterans Day weekend a "weekend of unity and hope," and admission fees in national parks will be waived.

Virginia State Parks are open year-round from 8 a.m. to dusk.

"Virginia State Parks are a tonic for the mind, body and spirit," said DCR State Parks Director Joe Elton. "Our 34 state parks are each special places where we can leave behind society's daily demands and pressures, rest, reflect, recuperate and recharge mentally and emotionally. For 65 years, during troubled times of turmoil, Virginia State Parks have been a tranquil refuge. We invite all Virginians to visit a state park this Veterans Day weekend and fish, hike, bike, canoe, picnic, ride horses, enjoy the fall foliage, or simply sit back, relax and do nothing at all."

For more information about Virginia State Parks activities and amenities or to make reservations, call the Virginia State Parks Reservation Center at 1-800-933-PARK.

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