Julena Campbell or Amy Bartlett
“During the upcoming National Park Service’s centennial celebration, we want more people to get to know Yellowstone, America’s first national park, so we’re offering a special invitation to fourth graders and their families to discover everything that this fantastic park offers,” said Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk. “We hope these free passes will introduce 4th graders, their classes, and their families to many of our national treasures, including Yellowstone. Kids of all ages need 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. The kids and their families can then use this pass for free entry into national parks and other federal public lands and waters across the country 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, 4th grade educators, youth group leaders and their students across the country will also participate in the initiative through field trips and other learning experiences. “Expedition Yellowstone” is a multi-day curriculum-based residential program offered during the school year for 4th through 8th grade students. This popular program has been teaching students about the natural and cultural history of Yellowstone for nearly 30 years. Sessions are four or five days in length, with an emphasis on learning through direct experience in the outdoors. More information is available at www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/expeditionyell.htm.
Yellowstone National Park also offers a variety of programs that 4th graders and their families can enjoy at any time of year. The Yellowstone Junior Ranger program is a fun way for kids (and adults!) to learn about the park by attending a ranger-led program, hiking on a park trail or boardwalk, and completing an activity booklet available at park visitor centers. Kids are sworn in as Junior Rangers, and receive a patch for their hard work. More information is available at www.nps.gov/yell/learn/kidsyouth/beajuniorranger.htm. Other trip ideas for visiting Yellowstone with kids in both winter and summer are available on a brand new page on the park website, www.nps.gov/yell/learn/kidsyouth/every-kid-in-a-park.htm.
Not everyone can schedule a trip to Yellowstone to help celebrate the centennial of the NPS, so the park also offers fun and educational activities on its website to help kids and their families or classes learn about the plants, animals, and geothermal features of Yellowstone from the comfort of their own home or classroom. A scavenger hunt, wildlife Olympics, coloring pages, and the equation for predicting Old Faithful’s next eruption are all found at www.nps.gov/yell/learn/kidsyouth/parkfun.htm.
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 a nationwide 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, US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Forest Service, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
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Last updated: June 19, 2019