New national program encourages families and classes to visit national parks.

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Date: September 3, 2015
Contact: Joshua Stringer, 409-951-6725

Big Thicket National Preserve invites all 4th grade students to visit the preserve as part of the White House’s new Every Kid in a Park program. Starting September 1st, 4th grade students can go to to complete an activity and obtain a free entry pass to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas, including national parks.

“During the National Park Service’s centennial celebration, we want everyone to get to know their national parks, and we’re offering a special invitation to fourth graders and their families to discover everything that national parks offer,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “We hope these free passes for fourth graders will introduce fourth graders, their classes, and families to our national treasures, places where they can run and play, explore and learn.”

To receive their free pass for national parks and other federal sites, fourth graders can visit the Every Kid in a Park website and play a game to access their special Every Kid in a Park pass. Fourth graders and their families can then use this pass for free entry into national parks and other federal lands and waters nationwide from September 1st, 2015, through August 31, 2016.

The website also includes fun and engaging activities aligned to educational standards, trip planning tools, safety and packing tips, and other important and helpful information for educators and parents.

Every Kid in a Park is an administrative-wide effort, launched by President Obama and supported by eight federal agencies, including the National Park Service, the Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Department of Education, Fish and Wildlife Service, Forest Service, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 

The goal of the Every Kid in a Park program is to connect fourth graders with the great outdoors and inspire them to become future environmental stewards, ready to preserve and protect the national parks and other public lands for years to come. The program is an important part of the National Park Service’s centennial celebration in 2016, which encourages everyone to Find Your Park.

Fourth grade teachers, youth group leaders, and their students can also participate in the program through field trips and other learning experiences in the federal lands. Big Thicket National Preserve staff provides free educational programs for schools; teachers and youth group leaders are encouraged to contact the preserve to learn about these opportunities. 

Entry into Big Thicket National Preserve is free year-round. The preserve is issuing the Every Kid in a Park passes to make it easier for local families to visit other national park sites and other federal recreation areas that do charge entry fees.

Big Thicket National Preserve is offering special Centennial programming and community involvement opportunities throughout the year to enhance participation in activities, education, and stewardship of our unique natural resources in southeast Texas. Kids are encouraged to also participate in Big Thicket National Preserve’s Junior Ranger program, to complete activities, and earn their Junior Ranger badge and certificate. 

For general information about Big Thicket National Preserve, visit or call the preserve visitor center at 409-951-6700. Visit us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram 

The National Park Service will celebrate its centennial in 2016 and is using this opportunity to invite a new generation of Americans, and those who already know and love the parks, to discover what national parks and other public lands mean to them through the Find Your Park campaign. To learn more or get involved, visit

Last updated: September 3, 2015

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Kountze, TX 77625


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