Military Service Appreciation Day offers free admission to county parks

Maricopa County’s Parks and Recreation Department will honor all veterans for Military Service Appreciation Day, Sunday, Nov. 11.

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors issued a proclamation in 2005 resolving that each Veterans Day from that point is observed as Military Service Appreciation Day at all Maricopa County Parks, according to a press release.

At approximately 120,000 acres, Maricopa County is home to one of the largest regional park systems in the country with parks located throughout the county and all within a 45-minute drive from downtown Phoenix, the release noted.

All active and non-active military personnel are encouraged to visit any of the county’s 11 parks and enjoy affordable recreation. The $7 per vehicle day-use entry fee is waived for military personnel.

In addition to waiving the day-use entry on Veteran’s Day, a discount on the annual pass for veterans with any level of service connected disability will be available, added R.J. Cardin, Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department Director and recent inductee in the Luke Air Force Base Honorary Commander Program.

“Military Service Appreciation Day at our parks is a small gesture, but it’s part of the county’s larger commitment to providing services and connections to our veterans 365 days a year,” Chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Steve Chucri, District 2, said in a prepared statement.

Supervisor Bill Gates, District 3, stated how veterans like his grandfather, who served in World War II, sacrificed for others and deserved the gesture of thanks for Military Service Appreciation Day to enjoy the regional parks free of charge.

“Representing military families on and surrounding Luke Air Force Base has been one of the great privileges of my time as a Maricopa County Supervisor,” said Supervisor Clint Hickman, District 4, in a prepared statement. “Any way we can make life easier or better for them, I support.”

Supervisor Denny Barney, District 1, noted the daily services provided at Maricopa County for veterans from housing and job connections to Veterans Court.

“Waiving the entry fee at our regional parks isn’t on that scale, but I believe it’s a worthy gesture as we seek to honor those who serve and sacrifice on our behalf,” he said in a prepared statement.

“Every single veteran should have a place in this community,” said Supervisor Steve Gallardo, District 5. “Whether it’s a simple thank you on the street, a connection to resources, or a free day at our parks, military personnel should have no doubt we appreciate their service and support their future.”

For information about activities at the nearest county park, call 602-506-9500 or visit

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