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The State and National Parks That Will #OptOutside This Black Friday

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Indiana Dunes National Park is one of many places across the country that will host a hike and cleanup on Black Friday.

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Indiana Dunes National Park is one of many places across the country that will host a hike and cleanup on Black Friday.

They’re offering free entry or hosting hikes and volunteer events as part of REI’s annual campaign to get people outside on the day after Thanksgiving.

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Every year, while hordes of consumers line up outside of stores for Black Friday sales, outdoor retailer REI closes its doors and invites its employees and customers to spend quality time with Mother Nature instead. Various state and national parks have been enthusiastic partners of the #OptOutside campaign since its inception in 2015, offering guided hikes or free admission to participants. 

This year, rather than simply opting outside, REI is encouraging its community to “opt to act” as well. In the weeks leading up to Black Friday, the organization collaborated with United by Blue, a sustainable outdoor apparel brand, to host cleanup events across the country. Not just a means of tidying up public spaces for everyone opting outside on November 29, these cleanups kick off a year of change. The #OptOutside campaign hopes that participants will “continue to act for 52 weeks with simple actions to reduce [their] impact, get active, and leave the world better than [they] found it.”

Here are a few of the state and national parks celebrating Black Friday—or Green Friday, as they call it—this year. Hit the trails the day after Thanksgiving, then check back throughout the year to lend a hand on volunteer days. 

Need more motivation to pitch in with a cleanup on November 29 or anytime next year? Check out REI’s promotional film featuring environmental advocate and drag queen Pattie Gonia. It got us totally fired up.

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