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Local residents can explore state parks again this year for free. In 2017, Hoosiers can once again “check out” state parks by checking out an entrance pass from a public library.
Alexandrian Public Library and Poseyville Carnegie Library each received a pass. APL Patrons can check it out for a seven-day stretch, according to APL Director Marissa Priddis. A valid library card is the only requirement to borrow the pass.
Beginning on Feb. 1, library districts across Indiana each received one of 240 state park passes placed in circulation for check-out. The passes provide access to Indiana’s 32 state park properties and also to Indiana’s state forest recreation areas where entrance fees are charged.
The Annual Pass Library Check-out Program is a partnership between Indiana State Parks and the Indiana State Library to encourage people to visit libraries and parks.
This program began as a single-year initiative for the Indiana State Parks’ Centennial Celebration and has been extended for one year. The program will be evaluated based on the number of times passes are checked out and how they are used. Those who check out the passes will be asked to complete a short survey at the library when they pick up the pass.
Priddis said APL’s pass was checked out only 15 times last year. She is hoping more people use the pass this season.
“Our goal is to provide access to our great Indiana State Parks for those who may have never visited,” said Ginger
Murphy, deputy director of stewardship for Indiana State Parks. “We also hope that those who come in to check out the annual pass will take time to explore the services and materials available in Indiana’s libraries.”
The Indiana State Library helped pay for the parks pass program.
“The State Library is excited about this extended partnership with Indiana State Parks,” said State Librarian Jacob Speer. “The partnership gives library patrons an opportunity to explore the many beautiful state park locations across Indiana simply by using their library card to check out the free passes.”