ST. LOUIS – President Obama, with the support of the Federal Interagency Council on Outdoor Recreation to include the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, announced the start of a new initiative to give American children the chance to explore and learn about the outdoors.
The Every Kid in a Park initiative will provide all fourth-grade students and their families with free admission for a full year to more than 2,000 federally managed sites nationwide.
Fourth graders can visit the Get Your Pass section of the Every Kid in a Park website at www.everykidinapark.gov and complete an educational activity to obtain and print a personalized voucher for unlimited use at federal lands and waters for one year. Passes are valid through Aug. 31, 2016. The paper voucher can be exchanged for a more durable interagency annual fourth-grade pass at certain federal sites. The Every Kid in a Park website also provides information on tips for trip planning and how parents and educators can get involved.
A primary goal of the Every Kid in a Park initiative is to bridge the growing disconnect between the next generation and the great outdoors, and to inspire children to become future stewards of natural and historic treasures.
“The Every Kid in the Park initiative will connect kids to their local parks, so they can continue to take advantage of all that our outdoors has to offer,” said Jo-Ellen Darcy, assistant secretary of the Army for civil works. “Millions of children visit Army Corps of Engineers parks with their families and classrooms each year, and this initiative will help introduce millions more to the joys of recreation, education and our nation’s water resources.”
“With a majority of Army Corps of Engineers’ recreation areas located within 50 miles of metropolitan centers, our sites offer thousands of fourth-graders, their families and educators easy access to many different types of recreational experiences,” said Maj. Gen. Ed Jackson, deputy commanding general for civil and emergency operations, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Local sites participating in the initiative are the National Great Rivers Museum in Alton and the Riverlands Migratory Birds Sanctuary in West Alton, Mo.