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Olympic National Park encourages all fourth graders to visit the park for free this year as part of the Every Kid in a Park program. The program gives fourth grade students, and those accompanying them, free access to more than 2,000 federally managed lands and waters. Visit www.EveryKidinaPark.gov to download the pass and obtain more information.
"We are excited to welcome this year's fourth graders and their families to Olympic," said Olympic National Park Acting Superintendent Rachel Spector. "We hope that our young visitors learn and have fun in the great outdoors and develop a lifelong connection to our nation's land, water and wildlife."
Olympic protects nearly a million acres of mountains, forests and coastline and offers innumerable opportunities for families to explore and enjoy the outdoors. The park's wide open beaches, short nature trails and numerous picnic areas are easy places to begin a lifetime of exploring Olympic.
Olympic was selected to receive a 2016 field trip grant from the National Park Foundation, the official charitable partner of America's national parks, to support the Every Kid in a Park program. The grant is part of the Foundation's Open OutDoors for Kids program. The $7,320 grant will provide transportation for fourth grade students from local school districts to visit the park as part of the park's 'Ecosystems Olympic' program. This program also includes a ranger visit to each fourth-grade class on the Olympic Peninsula. Thanks to the grant, approximately 750 students from Port Angeles, Sequim, Crescent,Quillyaute Valley, and Cape Flattery school districts will be able to complement their classroom experience with an in-person park visit.
"These grants are planting the seeds for lifelong relationships with national parks and their programs," said Will Shafroth, president of the National Park Foundation. "By providing access to transformative experiences like listening to the sound of birds chirping, walking the halls of a school that tell a civil rights story, looking up at a dark night sky, or pitching a tent with a friend for the first time, these children are forever impacted. We appreciate the power of national parks and, through our support, the National Park Foundation hopes to share them with as many kids as possible."
The Every Kid in a Park pass – which features a new design for this year's students–is valid for a full calendar year starting September 1. The pass grants free entry for fourth graders and up to three accompanying adults (or an entire car for drive-in parks) to most federally managed lands and waters, including national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and marine sanctuaries.
The newly expanded Every Kid in a Park website has links to educational activities, trip planning, field trip options, the downloadable pass, and additional information in both English and Spanish. After completing a fun educational activity, the child can download and print a pass. The paper pass can be traded for a more durable pass at participating federal sites nationwide.
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.
Every Kid in a Park is a crucial component of a multi-pronged approach to inspire the next generation to discover all that our nation's public lands and waters have to offer, including opportunities to be active, spend time with friends and family, and serve as living classrooms to build critical skills.
The Every Kid in a Park program is an Administration-wide effort between the Department of the Interior, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of the Army, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The program continues each year with the then-current group of fourth graders. After 12 years, every school-age child in America will have had an opportunity to visit their public land and waters for free, inspiring the next generation to be stewards of our nation's shared natural and cultural heritage.
For more information, please visit www.everykidinapark.gov and follow the program on Twitter @everykidinapark, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. For additional information about Olympic National Park, please visit https://www.nps.gov/olym.