CONCORD, Mass. – As of Jan. 1, 2016, approximately 240 of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recreation projects nationwide will begin issuing America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Interagency Passes. Eight of those Corps of Engineers recreation sites are in New England.
Previously, the Corps accepted the Interagency Senior and Access passes at its recreation projects, but was not allowed to sell or issue the passes. The Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014, signed into law on June 10, 2014, granted the Secretary of the Army the authority to participate fully in the America the Beautiful Interagency Pass Program.
Visitors to the approximately 240 designated Corps recreation projects will be able to purchase or obtain the following six interagency recreation passes: 1) Interagency Senior Pass, $10, valid for lifetime of the pass owner and must be 62 or older and a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident; 2) Interagency Access Pass, free for lifetime with documentation of permanent disability for U.S. citizens or permanent residents; 3) Interagency Annual Pass, $80, anyone can purchase this pass; 4) Interagency Military Pass, free to current U.S. military members and their dependents; 5) Interagency Every Kid in a Park 4th Grade Pass, free to current 4th grade students with valid Every Kid in a Park voucher (visit: www.everykidinapark.gov for details); and 6) Interagency Volunteer Pass, earned with 250-plus hours of volunteer service on public lands. These passes allow their holders free access to boat launches and swimming beaches managed by the Corps.
Senior and Access America the Beautiful passes also provide holders a 50 percent discount on campsites at Corps-managed campgrounds. Additionally, the Corps will continue to sell its own annual day use pass, which allows visitors free access to boat launches and swimming beaches managed by the Corps.
All America the Beautiful passes are available or can be purchased online at: http://store.usgs.gov/pass/annual.html. For more information visit the website or phone 1-888-275-8747, option 3. Additionally, the Interagency Pass Program allows each of the federal agencies to retain and reinvest revenues collected from the sale of passes at the project level. The Corps plans to reinvest its revenues at the projects where the fees are collected.
The Corps is the nation’s largest federal provider of outdoor recreation, managing more than 400 lake and river projects in 43 states and hosting more than 370 million visits per year. With 90 percent of these recreation areas within 50 miles of metropolitan areas they provide a diverse range of outdoor activities close to home and to people of all ages. For more information on Corps recreation sites and activities nationwide, visit www.CorpsLakes.us.
In New England, the 8 Corps of Engineers recreation sites that will offer these passes are in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. Contact these offices by phone or visit their websites to find out more information about recreational opportunities.
Hop Brook Lake in Middlebury, CT; Call 203-729-8840 or visit www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/Recreation/HopBrookLake.aspx.
West Thompson Lake in Thompson, CT; Call 860-923-2982 or visit www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/Recreation/WestThompsonLake.aspx.
(West Thompson will only be issuing Access and Senior passes).
Buffumville Lake in Charlton, MA; Call 508-248-5697 or visit
Knightville Dam in Huntington, MA; Call 413-667-3430 or visit
(Knightville will only be issuing Access and Military passes).
West Hill Dam in Uxbridge, MA; Call 508-278-2511or visit
Hopkinton-Everett Lakes in Hopkinton, NH; Call 603-746-3601 or visit www.corpslakes.us/HopkintonEverett or www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/Recreation/HopkintonEverettLake.aspx.
Ball Mountain Lake in Jamaica, VT; Call 802-874-4881 or visit
(Ball Mountain will only be issuing Access and Senior passes).
North Hartland Lake in North Hartland, VT; Call 802-295-2855 or visit
(North Hartland will only be issuing Access and Senior passes).