In anticipation to the 100 year anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016, the White House, in conjunction with the National Park Service's Open Outdoors for Kids program, announced the Every Kid in a Park initiative. The goal is to provide easier access to the nation's parks so children and their families can enjoy the outdoors and explore the beauty throughout the United States.
The Every Kid in a Park initiative, which calls on each of our agencies to help get all children to visit and enjoy the outdoors and inspire a new generation of Americans to experience their country’s unrivaled public lands and waters.
Starting in September, every fourth-grader in the nation will receive an “Every Kid in a Park” pass that’s good for free admission to all of America’s National Parks, federal lands and waters -- for them and their families -- for a full year.
Open Outdoor for Kids Goals
The National Park Services' Open Outdoor for Kids has three goals aligned with the Every Kid in a Park initiative:
- Greater Access to parks by providing transportation, programming and free entry to the parks for children and teachers.
- Remain Relevant byconnecting kids and families to the parks through programs that make people's lives better.
- Provide Education within-park" opportunities for children to learn in our national parks, the world's largest outdoor classrooms.
There are some serious obstacles preventing kids from getting outside and this is a step in getting our kids to take more steps outside. The "Facts at a Glance" (below) from Open Outdoors for Kids are pretty frightening. But, I know my kids are guilty of spending too much time on their iDevices. If nothing, this initiative in an important reminder to parents like me that it's so important for our kids to get outside and explore. So, hurry up warm weather: we're ready to go!
If this applies to your family, make sure you follow up in the fall to get your free park passes. And go enjoy the parks!
Images via: White House blog and Open Outdoors for Kids