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Contact: Maureen Mcgee-Ballinger, 605-574-3115
New National Program Encourages Families and Classes to Visit National Parks
Jewel Cave National Monument,SD-The National Park Service invites all 4th grade students tovisit their national parks as part of the White House's new Every Kid in a Park program. Starting Tuesday, September 1st, 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.
"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 4th 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, 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 public lands and waters across the country from September 1st, 2015 through August 31,2016.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 every fourth grader in America a free entry pass for national parks and federal public lands and waters, fourth grade educators, youth group leaders and their students across the country will also participate in the program through fieldtrips and other learning experiences.
While the pass is available at all Black Hills area National Park Service sites,it applies differently at each. The pass will allow free entrance for one vehicle at Badlands National Park. A pass is not required at Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, which does not have an entrance fee or charge for tours. Minuteman Missile National Historic Site celebrates the Centennial in a new visitor center with engaging and thought-provoking exhibits to be installed this fall and a new park film in summer, 2016.
Mount Rushmore National Memorial does not have an entrance fee; however there is a fee to park. The free entry fee for 4th graders does not include the parking fee of $11. Students are welcome to bring their vouchers they earned through the Every Kid in a Park website to the Information Center at Mount Rushmore. At the Information Center students can exchange their voucher for a free annual pass providing them and their family free entry to other national parks and federal public lands where an entrance fee is applied.
At Jewel Cave National Monument and Wind Cave National Park the pass will allow the passholder, any children in their family15 and under, and up to 3 adult(16 or older)family members to take a free regular walking cave tour.
The goal of the Every Kid in a Park program is to connect 4th graders with the great outdoors and 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, which encourages everyone to Find Your Park.
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.