National Park Service

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Amid the pandemic, people are headed to national parks in record numbers. While Oklahoma doesn’t have a National Park, the state does host seven sites run by the National Park Service.

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UPDATED: June 29 at 1:46 p.m.

John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park in Tulsa has been designated as an official member of the African American Civil Rights Network, which is coordinated by the National Park Service.

The Interior Department is abandoning a plan to more than double entrance fees to some of the country's most popular national parks, opting instead to apply a "modest" fee increase to 117 parks beginning this summer in an effort to raise funds for park maintenance.

The announcement Thursday comes after an outcry from the public and from lawmakers, who were concerned that certain large increases that were initially proposed would price people out of the nation's parks.

In a dense, wooded lot, 17-year-old Justis Jackson lies on a mound of dirt. He doesn't seem to mind the sticky heat or buzzing mosquitoes. Jackson's attention is fixed on a buried object at the bottom of a neatly dug hole.

"Sounds like metal," he says, knocking. "But what type of metal and how old it is, I don't know. I hope it's old."