The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is waiving all day-use parking fees Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.
“We recognize that being outdoors makes us feel better and is a break from the stresses of 2020,” Parks director Lisa Sumption said in a statement. “In this unconventional year, we feel it is especially important to honor this tradition as thanks to Oregonians for supporting us through our toughest times.”
The parking waiver applies to parks that charge a $5 daily parking fee. Parking is free year-round at the majority of Oregon’s state park properties.
The fee waiver day lands within Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s two-week freeze, which restricts the size of social gatherings and closes some businesses.
The Parks and Recreation Department is urging people to limit gatherings at parks to six or fewer people and up to two different households. That’s in addition to physical distancing and wearing face coverings.
“Following these precautions is particularly important in the coming weeks to support statewide efforts to stop the spread of the virus,” Sumption said. “When visitors prepare and care, it keeps parks safe for everyone.”
The fee waiver day is an annual event, known as “Green Friday,” the Parks and Recreation Department said. Typically, the day kicks off a series of holiday events across state parks, but the department said it’s canceled those events this year.
“The pandemic challenges all of us to find new, creative ways to celebrate the holidays,” Sumption said. “We look forward to the safe return of these holiday traditions, and until then, parks are open and here for you.”