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Contact: Norma Sosa, (760) 252-6102
Barstow—Mojave National Preserve invites all 4th grade students to visit the park as part of the White House's new Every Kid in a Park program. Starting on September 1st, all 4th grade students can go to www.everykidinapark.gov to complete an activity and obtain a free annual entry pass to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas, including national parks.
The passes can be used to gain free entry to any federal park or recreation area that charges entry fees. Entry to Mojave is free year-round.
"With its centennial, the National Park Service is inviting a new generation to discover the special places that belong to us all by providing to every 4th grade student a free pass to explore national treasures," said the Preserve's superintendent, Todd Suess. "We are encouraging new audiences and people who are not familiar with the National Park Service and public lands to find their parks. This free 4th-grade pass is one way to begin a new journey of discovery."
National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said NPS hopes that the passes will introduce public lands to others as well as students. "We hope these free passes for 4th graders will introduce 4th graders, their classes, and families to our national treasures, places where they can run and play, explore and learn," he said.
In the Preserve, 4th graders, their families, educators, and youth group leaders can take part in the park's popular Jr. Ranger program, a completion activity of naturalist and other lessons that culminates with the students being sworn in as junior park rangers. At the park's main visitor center, Kelso Depot, a museum of the Mojave is open for visits with park rangers as well as self-directed tours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day of the year but Christmas.
In partnership with the Desert Discovery Center museum in Barstow, the Preserve also makes available a variety of activities that 4th graders and their families can enjoy, including recurring environmental and naturalist programs as well as scheduled programs such as Design & Painting of Mural Art, Building an Exhibition Display, and Photography & Group Production of a Film Documentary. Ongoing programs and events include animal feeding time at the museum, art and solar cooking workshops, tours of outdoor murals, young scientist programs, and family desert hikes.
To receive a free pass for national parks, 4th graders can visit the Every Kid in a Park website and play a game to access their special Every Kid in a Park pass. 4th graders and their families can then use this pass for free entry to national parks and other federal public lands and waters across the country from September 1st, 2015, through August 31st, 2016. The website also includes fun and engaging learning activities aligned to educational standards, trip-planning tools, safety and packing tips, and other important and helpful information for educators and parents.
In addition to providing to every 4th grader in America a free entry pass for national parks and federal public lands and waters, 4th grade educators, youth group leaders, and their students across the country also will participate in the program through field trips and other learning experiences.
The goal of the Every Kid in a Park program is to connect 4th graders with the great outdoors and to inspire them to become future environmental stewards, ready to preserve and protect 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 that encourages everyone to Find Your Park.
Every Kid in a Park is an administrative-wide effort launched by President Obama. It is 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.