Lifetime Liberty Passes grant free access to state parks, including...

Lifetime Liberty Passes grant free access to state parks, including Jones Beach, where the Bethpage Air Show takes place. Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa Loarca

Starting April 1, New York veterans and Gold Star families will be granted free access to state parks, campgrounds, historic sites and recreational day areas throughout the state, thanks to an expansion of the Lifetime Liberty Pass Program, the governor’s office announced.

In a statement Wednesday, Gov. Kathy Hochul said a disability rating would no longer be required for use of the Liberty Pass.

“Our veterans have made endless sacrifices, and New York is always looking for ways we can say thank you for keeping our country safe,” Hochul said in a statement. “Nature heals, and with the expansion of our Lifetime Liberty Pass Program, we’re ensuring veterans and their families can easily visit our world-class destinations here in New York.”

Under the new legislation, included in a package signed by Hochul in November, benefits will include: free vehicle entry to state parks and Department of Environmental Conservation-operated campground and day use areas, as well as state boat launch sites, historic sites, arboretums and park preserves; free greens fees at state park-operated golf courses; free entrance to swimming pools operated by state parks; and discounted campsite and cabin rentals at state park and DEC-operated campground sites throughout the state. Those discounts will be applied at check-in.

“We are incredibly grateful to our veterans and their dedication and service and are excited to provide veteran communities more opportunities to better connect with state parks, historic sites and recreation areas and facilitate a lifelong love of the outdoors,” Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner pro tempore Randy Simons said in a statement.

Veterans can access the benefits by presenting a valid New York State Department of Motor Vehicles photo ID with veteran status designation, while officials said veterans who do not have the designation on their ID can visit the NYSDMV website for more information on how to apply for a free Lifetime Liberty Pass.

For Gold Star parents and families, officials said they could apply for the free Lifetime Liberty Pass once the application process opens April 1.

Starting April 1, New York veterans and Gold Star families will be granted free access to state parks, campgrounds, historic sites and recreational day areas throughout the state, thanks to an expansion of the Lifetime Liberty Pass Program, the governor’s office announced.

In a statement Wednesday, Gov. Kathy Hochul said a disability rating would no longer be required for use of the Liberty Pass.

“Our veterans have made endless sacrifices, and New York is always looking for ways we can say thank you for keeping our country safe,” Hochul said in a statement. “Nature heals, and with the expansion of our Lifetime Liberty Pass Program, we’re ensuring veterans and their families can easily visit our world-class destinations here in New York.”

Under the new legislation, included in a package signed by Hochul in November, benefits will include: free vehicle entry to state parks and Department of Environmental Conservation-operated campground and day use areas, as well as state boat launch sites, historic sites, arboretums and park preserves; free greens fees at state park-operated golf courses; free entrance to swimming pools operated by state parks; and discounted campsite and cabin rentals at state park and DEC-operated campground sites throughout the state. Those discounts will be applied at check-in.

“We are incredibly grateful to our veterans and their dedication and service and are excited to provide veteran communities more opportunities to better connect with state parks, historic sites and recreation areas and facilitate a lifelong love of the outdoors,” Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner pro tempore Randy Simons said in a statement.

Veterans can access the benefits by presenting a valid New York State Department of Motor Vehicles photo ID with veteran status designation, while officials said veterans who do not have the designation on their ID can visit the NYSDMV website for more information on how to apply for a free Lifetime Liberty Pass.

For Gold Star parents and families, officials said they could apply for the free Lifetime Liberty Pass once the application process opens April 1.

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