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Contact: Dena Matteson, 573-323-8028
VAN BUREN, MO: Ozark National Scenic Riverways is proud to help launch the Every Kid in a Park program as 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.
As of September 1, fourth graders nationwide can visit the new Every Kid in a Park websiteto obtain a pass that provides free access to students and their families to all federally managed lands and waters –including national parks, forests and wildlife refuges. The pass is valid through August 31, 2016 and grants free entry for fourth graders and three accompanying adults (or an entire car for drive-in parks) at more than 2,000 federally-managed sites.
Says Riverways Superintendent Larry Johnson "We're excited to welcome fourth graders and their families to Ozark National Scenic Riverways throughout the school year.We hope that our young visitors have fun in the great outdoors and develop a lifelong connection to our nation's land, water, wildlife, and history. Even though there is no entrance fee required to enjoy the Riverways, we are pleased to make the Every Kid in a Park Pass available at park headquarters in Van Buren for fourth graders who would like to use this pass at other federal sites. We'll also have the passes available at our annual Haunting in the Hills event on October 10 at Alley Spring."
The Ozark National Scenic Riverways headquarters is located at 404 Watercress Drive in Van Buren, MO.Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Leading up to the 100th birthday of the National Park Service in 2016, President Obama launched the Every Kid in a Park initiative earlier this year as a call to action to get all children to experience America's unparalleled outdoors. Today, more than 80 percent of American families live in urban areas, and many lack easy access to safe outdoor spaces. At the same time, youth spend more hours than ever in front of screens instead of outside.
Fourth graders: log onto the website www.everykidinapark.gov and complete a fun educational activity in order to obtain and print your pass. You can also trade in your paper pass for an official card at participating federal sites nationwide, including Riverways Headquarters in Van Buren. Other sites in the area that issue Every Kid in a Park cards include may be found at:https://everykidinapark.gov/plan-your-trip/pass-exchange/.
Educators and community leaders: use the website to access educational activities, field trip options, and the ability to print passes for your classrooms.
Parents: find additional links for more information on planning trips to nearby public lands on the Every Kid in a Park website.
Every Kid in a Park is designed 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, serve as living classrooms to build critical skills, and discover our nation's heritage.
The Every Kid in a Park program is an Administration-wide effort offered in partnership with the Department of the Interior, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Education, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Fourth graders can get their official passes at many National Park Service sites as well as lands managed by other federal agencies.
For more information, please visit www.everykidinapark.gov, and follow the program on Twitter @everykidinapark, on Facebook, on Instagram and Youtube. Ozark National Scenic Riverways preserves the free-flowing Current and Jacks Fork Rivers, the surrounding resources, and the unique cultural heritage of the Ozark people. For more information, visit the park's Facebook page, follow us on Twitter, visit the park website at www.nps.gov/ozar, or phone (573) 323-4236.