2/19/2015 by Doug Scott
Many people see the hashtag above and either become irate at the twice-elected President of the United States, or laugh at the silliness of people blaming the problems of live on the leader of the free world. While most of the nation will argue over the legacy of President Obama long after the 2016 election, President Obama is quietly giving American’s young and old a chance to explore the National Park and Monuments of America for free.
According to an article in USA Today,
The Every Kid in a Park initiative is part of an effort to get schoolchildren outdoors and more active. It will start in the school year that begins next fall, which coincides with the 100th anniversary of the National Parks Service in 2016.
Starting in the Fall of 2015, every student in 4th grade will be able to visit, enter, explore and learn about America’s 59 National Parks for free. The family members of the 4th grader also get in for free, saving working families the $80 fee of a Annual Pass for all the nation’s Parks and Monuments.
Coinciding with the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016, the waving of entrance fees for America’s 4th Graders isn’t the only good news from the Every Kid in a Park Initiative. The program is paid for using $20 million from the National Park Service budget for youth engagement programs. The program also covers expenses for transportation for school districts taking trips to locals Parks and provides educational materials for educators around the country.
While details of this implementation of free entry for 4th Grades into our National Parks has not been announced, the future of America’s wilderness, historical and cultural heritage regions will see a newfound interest from the youth of the nation.
Al Nash, a spokesperson for Yellowstone National Park heard the announcement when we did, and is quite excited about the plan.
“We want to help develop the next generation of stewards for places that are special to the American Public.” Al shared with us, “What better way to encourage families to visit one of over 400 places that NPS administers?
We agree, and the news of free entrance to America’s National park’s for 4th graders and their families is welcome news for those who wish to preserve the legacy and heritage of the National Parks. As Al Nash told us before getting off the phone, he is excited to encourage people to explore, understand and continue to appreciate what has been set aside in our National Forests, Parks and Monuments. #ThanksObama for giving families free access this coming year!
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