AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — You can save some money this weekend if you own a Maine Loon License Plate. July 16 is Loon Plate Appreciation Sunday.

All vehicles with Maine Loon License Plates will be admitted free of charge at Maine state parks and historic sites from 9 a.m. to closing for day-use. No rain date will be available.

*Exceptions: Acadia National Park, Allagash Wilderness Waterway (AWW), Baxter State Park, the Maine Wildlife Park (IF&W), Peacock Beach, Scarborough Beach, Swan Island (IF&W), Penobscot River Corridor (PRC) or the Penobscot Narrows Observatory in Prospect, though admission to Fort Knox State Historic Site will be free that day.

The Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands states that the loon (conservation) plate was created by the state legislature in 1993 and directly benefits the bureau, as well as the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife.

For every $20 spent on a new loon plate:

  • $8.40 goes to the Bureau of Parks and Lands
  • $5.60 goes to Inland Fisheries & Wildlife
  • $6 goes to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

It also states that the bureau uses the loon plate funds to help maintain and improve Maine's state parks and historic sites. Some of the money is used for basic maintenance supplies and upkeep items but it is also spent on significant projects, such as these:

  • Construct a new day-use shelter at Moose Point
  • Construct a new 28-foot-long bridge at Bible Point
  • Replace boat slips at Lily Bay
  • Make improvements in keeping with the Americans with Disabilities Act at the; Lightkeeper's House at Quoddy Head State Park
  • Help harvest and saw about 20,000 board feet of lumber from the Camden Hills woodlot, later used to build picnic tables, signs, Adirondack shelters and a cold storage building, as well repair many other park structures throughout the park system
  • Repair trails, roads and parking lots at Moose Point, Camden Hills, Quoddy Head, Damariscotta Lake, Shackford Head and Birch Point Beach
  • Installation of a new lifeguard stand at Peaks-Kenny
  • Purchase a historically important parcel at Colonial Pemaquid State Historic Site in Bristol, completing the site area

They say funds that go to IF&W help support important wildlife conservation and help in obtaining matching federal funds through the U.S. Endangered Species Act, the State Wildlife Grant Program and the Landowner Incentive Program.

The Loon Plate is available in four types: Disability, Motor home, Trailer, Commercial loon plates.

Loon/conservation plates can be ordered online, or the next time you visit your local town hall/vehicle registration office.