BANFF, Alta. - Parks Canada will mark the 125th anniversary of Canada's national parks system this year with a freebie.

On July 17 people will be allowed to visit parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas without having to pay a fee.

Jim Prentice, minister responsible for Parks Canada, says the government will also continue a freeze on entry, camping and other fees this year.

He also says 32 post-secondary students will be hired to work in the parks system this summer and produce video reports on their experiences.

Parks Canada is trying to encourage more people to visit the parks after a drop in attendance over the past few years.

Officials have said the drop in visits is partly due to the fact that more people are living in urban areas and a growing number of Canadians have never gone camping before.