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Seniors ages 62 and older can purchase their “America the Beautiful – The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Senior” lifetime pass for $10 at the “Ding” Darling Nature Store until Aug. 28, when the price increases to $80.

The pass allows free lifetime admission to most national wildlife refuges, including “Ding” Darling, plus national parks and monuments, and more than 2,000 sites managed by federal agencies. To purchase the pass, U.S. citizens or permanent residents must show a valid photo I.D.

The first senior pass price increase since 1994 will raise revenue to enhance the visitor experience in refuges and parks, where recent federal budget cuts have meant diminished staff and services. At “Ding” Darling alone, staff has been slashed in half during the past decade.

Passes are non-refundable and non-transferable and cannot be replaced if lost or stolen. If lost or stolen, a new pass will need to be purchased. For more information about senior passes and the rate increase, please visit

Passes can be purchased at the Refuge Nature Store operated by the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge. Part of the “Ding” Darling Visitor & Education Center, the store operates daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 1-239-472-1100.

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