The Every Kid in a Park initiative delivers a nationwide call to action to build the next generation of environmental stewards. This national movement will connect youth with federal lands and waters in innovative ways never before undertaken. Under the direction of President Obama, a priority has been established to connect with today's kids--not just to engage youngsters in their national heritage, but to meet their needs in a way that few other programs can.
Federal lands and waters offer opportunities for kids to exercise and enjoy fresh air while having fun. Experiencing these places can stimulate student interest in future conservation careers and provide opportunities to acquire critical skills in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math through hands-on activities. For kids who live in urban spaces, a visit to these special settings offers even more than a rare chance to see a clear night sky--it may present a chance to reach for the stars!
To advance this goal, the federal lands and waters agencies will commit to bring the approximately four million fourth grade students across the country to a federal land or water beginning in the 2015-2016 school year. The initiative will continue every year with the next cohort of US fourth graders. This ensures that all children will have the opportunity to experience their federal lands or waters by the time they are 11 years old. As a result, the next generation of Americans will become continually aware of and responsible for their cultural and natural heritage.
Each fourth grader will receive an Every Kid in a Park pass that allows free access to all federal lands and waters across the country for a full year. Beginning September 1, 2015, fourth graders can visit the "Get Your Pass" section of the Every Kid in a Park website at www.everykidinapark.gov, complete an online activity, and download a personalized paper voucher for print and unlimited use at federal lands and waters locations for one year. The paper voucher also can be exchanged for a more durable, Interagency Annual 4th Grade Pass at certain federal lands or waters sites. The Every Kid in a Park website also offers information and tips for trip planning and how parents can get involved.
Educators will be able to visit a specific area of the website and download and print lesson plan ideas and activities, along with paper vouchers for each of their students. Educators also will find information about the locations of their nearest federal land or water as well as field trip transportation grant opportunities.
The initiative is an Administration-wide effort among the National Park Service, Forest Service, Department of Education, Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of
Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Reclamation, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Please visit www.everykidinapark.gov for further information.