News9.com

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced Wednesday that the National Park Service will waive admission fees on 17 selected dates throughout 2011. He encouraged all Americans to make a New Year's resolution to visit a national park this year.

"Many people have made resolutions to spend more quality time with loved ones and to get outdoors and unplug in 2011," said Secretary Salazar. "There's no better place than a national park to help keep those resolutions. Parks offer superb recreational opportunities, making them perfect places to enjoy our beautiful land, history and culture, and nurture a healthy lifestyle."

There are 394 national parks across the country. In Oklahoma, there are six including the Oklahoma City National Memorial and the Chickasaw National Recreation Area in Sulphur.

The 2011 fee-free dates will be the weekend of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (January 15-17), National Park Week (April 16-24), the first day of summer (June 21), National Public Lands Day (September 24), and the weekend of Veterans Day (November 11-13). Many national park concessions will also offer discounts on fee-free days, saving visitors money on food, lodging, tours, and souvenirs.

"In these tough economic times, our fee-free days will give families many opportunities to enjoy our nation's heritage and natural beauty," Salazar said.

For more information on fee-free days, visit the National Park Service website.