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Contact: Lauren Carter, 928-524-6228 x238
Petrified Forest 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.
Says park superintendent Brad Traver, "There's so much to discover at Petrified Forest National Park, and we're excited to welcome fourth graders and their families throughout the year. We hope our young visitors learn and have fun in the great outdoors, developing a lifelong connection to our nation's land, water and wildlife."
Petrified Forest National Park offers grand vistas of the Painted Desert and one of the largest deposits of petrified wood in the world. Fossils of Late Triassic plants and animals as well as 13,000 years of human history can also be experienced. A 28-mile long road winds through the park and offers plenty of kid-friendly stops and walks. An official Junior Ranger activity booklet is available for free at any visitor center.The park is open 8am-5pm daily with extended hours spring through fall;check the park website for details.
Petrified Forest National Park was selected to receive a 2016 field trip grant from the National Park Foundation, the official charity 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.
Petrified Forest will welcome 4th grade students for a second year to participate in a citizen science project called Student Phenology for Outdoor Citizens (or S.P.O.C.). Classes visiting the park for this program will receive a full reimbursement of travel costs to the park, healthy snacks, and a ranger led hike along the 1 mile Rim Trail overlooking The Painted Desert. During the hike students will use I-pads to record natural history observations and write nature journals.
"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. 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.