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Contact: Pamela Barns, 440-546-5994
Cleveland is one of nine cities across the country that was selected by the National Park Foundation to serve as a focus city for the Every Kid in a Park Program. This national program gives fourth grade students, and those accompanying them, free access to more than 2,000 federally managed lands and waters. It also supports special activities for fourth grade classes.
Further, Cuyahoga Valley National Park was selected to receive a $210,000 field trip grant from the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, to support the Every Kid in a Park program. The grant, part of the Foundation’s Open OutDoors for Kids program, will support transportation for fourth grade classes. Park rangers and program staff from Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center will engage fourth-graders in FREE programming with a goal of bringing over 8,000 area students to the park between Sept. 1, 2016 and Aug. 30, 2017.
The selection of Cleveland as a focus city enables participation by the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and Inner Ring Suburb districts. Special classroom-based activities will take place to engage students in national park themes, and fourth grade classes will visit Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
The Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park will administer the program alongside the National Park Service.
“There’s so much to discover at Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and we’re excited to welcome fourth graders and their families throughout the next year,” said Paul Stoehr, Acting Superintendent, Cuyahoga Valley National Park. “We hope that our young visitors learn and have fun in the out doors and develop a lifelong connection to our nation’s land, water and wildlife.”
Part of what fourth graders will explore in Cuyahoga Valley National Park is the Canal Exploration Center in Valley View, operated by the National Park Service. This attraction provides activities that match Ohio’s fourth grade curriculum in Ohio and local history. In addition to visiting the center, fourth graders from Cleveland will hike and learn about the natural environment.
Every Kid in a Park is part of President Obama’s commitment to protect our nation’s unique outdoor spaces and ensure that every American has the opportunity to visit and enjoy them. The program, now entering its second year, is a call to action for children to experience America’s spectacular outdoors, rich history and culture.
“These grants are planting the seeds for lifelong relationships with national parks and their programs,” said Will Shafroth, president of the National Park Foundation. “They provide funding to remove barriers to accessing national parks, with a special focus on underserved and urban communities.”
Beyond the focus cities of Cleveland, Baltimore, Seattle, Miami, Houston, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Los Angeles and San Juan, every fourth grader in the country can download an Every Kid in a Park pass to access most federally managed lands and waters, including national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and marine sanctuaries for free with accompanying adults. Click here for details.
For additional information about Cuyahoga Valley National Park and its Conservancy, please visit www.nps.gov/cuva or www.forcvnp.org.