Every Kid in a Park program offers free passes to national parks for fourth-graders | CraigDailyPress.com

Every Kid in a Park program offers free passes to national parks for fourth-graders

Craig Daily Press Staff Report

A family canoes in Alaska. Such natural wonders will be readily available as part of the Every Kid in a Park program, which gives free passes to national parks valid for a year to students in the fourth grade across America.

The Every Kid in a Park was put into action Tuesday by Pres. Barack Obama as an initiative that allows fourth-graders nationwide to go to http://www.everykidinapark.gov and obtain a pass for free entry for them and their families to more than 2,000 federally managed lands and waters nationwide for an entire year.

By introducing fourth-graders to public lands in their backyards and beyond at an early age, the program delivers a nationwide call to action to build the next generation of outdoor stewards of our country's spectacular and diverse federal lands and waters, according to a press release.

"Connecting our nation's youth to the great outdoors is even more important at a time when 80 percent of American families live in cities and most children spend more time on computers and smartphones than exploring nature," the release reads. "The initiative is slated to continue with each year's group of fourth graders to inspire successive generations to become responsible stewards of our nation's natural and cultural heritage."

Passes will be available online, as well as additional educational activities, and plastic passes are also an option, all of which will be valid through August 31, 2016. The Every Kid in a Park pass admits the fourth-grader and any accompanying passengers in a private, non-commercial vehicle at per vehicle fee areas or the pass owner and up to three accompanying adults at sites that charge per person.

Additional online opportunities are available for teachers and community leaders.

Every Kid in a Park is an administration-wide effort supported by the U.S. Department of the Interior (which includes the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Forest Service, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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