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Contact: Jessica Ferracane, 808-985-6018
Fourth graders on a field trip to the erupting summit of Kīlauea Monday morning received their free Every Kid in a Park pass from a strong supporter of the program: Senator Mazie K. Hirono of Hawai‘i.
The Senator, Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando, and park rangers greeted students from Ka‘ū Learning Academy, a charter school located 41 miles south of Kīlauea, at Kīlauea Overlook. The keiki hiked along Crater Rim Trail with Senator Hirono to the observation deck at Jaggar Museum to learn about the volcano in the backyard, and earn their Every Kid in a Park pass.
The Every in Kid in a Park program is part of President Obama’s commitment to protect our nation’s iconic outdoor spaces and ensure that every American has the opportunity to visit them. This is the second year of the innovative program, which gives fourth graders and those accompanying them, free access to 2,000 public lands and waters nationwide – including Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park – for a whole year.
“Senator Hirono is a dedicated advocate of education for Hawai‘i youth, and fully embraces Every Kid in a Park,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “The Ka‘ū students who hiked with her today not only met one of Hawai‘i’s senators, but were able to spend quality time outdoors with someone who truly advocates for our keiki and national parks,” Orlando said.
The students took photos with Senator Hirono, and were mesmerized by the surges of lava spattering from a vent within Halema‘uma‘u Crater, one mile away.
“My favorite thing was seeing the volcano,” said 9-year-old T’rael Pesnell, who took photos of his classmate posing with the eruption behind him.
Senator Hirono also presented the national park with Senate Resolution 541, proclaiming Aug. 1, 2016 as Hawai‘i Volcanoes and Haleakalā National Parks Day, to honor the parks’ centennial anniversaries.
“As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, the Every Kid in a Park program promotes a lifelong appreciation for our environment and natural resources,” said Senator Mazie K. Hirono.
Educators for all grades can learn more about the park’s educational opportunities and curriculum on the park website: https://www.nps.gov/havo/learn/education/index.htm, and by calling the Education Center at (808) 985-6019.