13,000 Free Passes to 116 California State Parks on ‘Green Friday'

For the second year in a row, the tree-lovers at Save the Redwoods League in San Francisco are hoping people will stay out of the malls on Black Friday get out into the woods.

Last year's program, where the nonprofit offered 5,000 free day-passes to 48 redwood state parks on Nov. 27 was so popular the group decided to do it again.

Except this year, they're upping the ante. And they've named their event "Green Friday."

Along with the California State Parks Foundation and the California State Parks, a total of 13,000 day-use free passes will be issued at 116 parks statewide. The average fee of about $10 a car will be waived and paid for through donations sent to the redwood and the parks foundations. Last year, Save the Redwoods spokeswoman Jennifer Benito said the group spent about $50,000 to give away 5,000 passes, which were snapped up in days. This year, $130,000 was raised through two foundations to cover the cost of the vehicle fee.

Passes can be downloaded here beginning at noon on Wednesday, along with a map of participating parks. Passes are limited and will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Save the Redwoods was first inspired by REI's bold move to pay its employees on Black Friday while encouraging them to go outside and not buy things on one of the busiest national shopping days.

REI received rave reviews from the public, and the company is doing it again this year.

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