Let's Get Every Kid in a Park

News: President Obama has announced the 'Let's Get Every Kid in a Park' initiative offering free yearly National Park passes to fourth-graders.

Published Feb 20, 2015

On 19 February 2015, President Barack Obama announced an initiative enabling American schoolchildren to visit National Parks for free. The "Every Kid in a Park initiative" — introduced on Facebook, Twitter, and the White House's blog — was described as an effort to broaden natural lands access for both learning institutions and families with children:

President Obama is committed to giving every kid the chance to explore America's great outdoors and unique history. That's why today he launched 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 federal lands and waters — for them and their families — for a full year.

Because we know that a big reason many kids don't visit these places is that they can't get there easily, we will also help schools and families arrange field trips and visits by providing key trip-planning tools and helping to cover transportation costs for schools with the greatest financial need. For example, the National Park Foundation — the congressionally chartered foundation of the National Park Service — is expanding its program to award transportation grants for kids to visit parks, lands, and waters. The President has also requested new funding in his FY 2016 Budget to support youth education programs and to support transportation for school outings to parks for students from low-income areas.

In addition to the park passes, the initiative includes learning materials designed to supplement nature-based curricula for K-12 students. The program is slated to begin in September 2015, and the passes given to families will be valid for a year.

Last updated:   20 February 2015

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as back in 1994.

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