National Parks Week suspends visitor fees - Tucson News Now

National Parks Week suspends visitor fees

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Go to Saguaro National Park this week, and be greeted with a sign that waives entry fees.

"It's a treasure!  It's a national treasure!" said Kathy Cevoli, who was visiting from Englewood, FL Monday.

National Parks Week runs through Friday.  No fees are charged to visitors to Saguaro National Park, nor many others around the country, which was almost perfect for Cevoli.

"What a great opportunity for people with families to come out and enjoy the national parks, wherever they are in the country, but particularly in Arizona!" Cevoli said.

"What a lot of folks don't realize is those entrance fees, actually 100 percent of that money stays in the park to help projects like trail building or refurbishing visitor center exhibits or making sure there are rangers on board to be able to service them when they come," said Andy L. Fisher, chief of interpretation at Saguaro National Park.

Fisher said that this week helps get more people to check out the park and hopefully get them either to return when fees are being collected or to encourage them to buy annual passes, especially in the case of local visitors.

While the federal government pays salaries, the money from fees specifically improves what Saguaro National Park can offer visitors.

"Having that local support and having that fee money is going to become more and more important to us to make sure we get those projects done that are important to visitors," Fisher said.

"It's a resource that people should know about, and certainly one way to open their eyes and perhaps get people to understand how important these resources are," Cevoli said.

Tumacacori National Park is also participating.  Here's a list of the national parks around the state and the country that are participating.

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