Oakland, CA – For the last five years, the East Bay Regional Park District has turned Black Friday “green” by making Regional Parks free to the public. Black Friday has traditionally been a busy day of holiday shopping, but with more than half of holiday shopping taking place online, the public has more time to spend with family and friends, including the day after Thanksgiving.
To encourage the public to spend quality family time in nature rather than shopping, the Park District is waiving all fees on Nov. 29 for parking, dogs, horses, boat launching and fishing, including entrance to Ardenwood Historic Farm.
“Exploring Regional Parks together is a great way to spend time with loved ones,” said East Bay Regional Park District General Manager Robert Doyle. “Spending time in nature enhances physical and mental health, and strengthens bonds and connections with friends and family.”
“This is the fifth straight year the Park District has made the day after Thanksgiving free to visitors,” added Doyle.
The Park District’s Green Friday is part of the “#OptOutside” movement that started in 2015 when REI closed its doors on Black Friday and encouraged its employees and the public to explore the outdoors instead of shopping. Millions of people and hundreds of organizations now participate in #OptOutside each year.
“On Green Friday, Tilden Regional Park sees huge numbers of families spending quality time together,” said Tilden Regional Park Supervisor Dave Weaver. “It’s great to see so many smiling happy faces enjoying the trails, picnic sites, and Little Farm.”
The Green Friday fee waiver does not apply to state fees, including fishing licenses and watercraft inspections for invasive mussels, or District concessions such as the Tilden Merry-Go-Round and Redwood Valley Railway steam train.
To find a park or activity, visit www.ebparks.org.
The East Bay Regional Park District is the largest regional park system in the nation, comprising 73 parks, 55 miles of shoreline, and 1,250 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and environmental education. The Park District receives more than 25 million visits annually throughout Alameda and Contra Costa counties in the San Francisco Bay Area.