SILVER SPRING, MD – Today President Obama announced a new initiative that seeks to have more children experience America’s public lands. The initiative, Every Kid in a Park, will ensure that for the 2015-2016 school year, every 4th grader and their family gets a free annual pass to visit America’s national parks, forests, refuges, and other federal lands.
American Hiking Society, which recently launched its own Families on Foot initiative to get more families outdoors and hiking, is pleased to see the Administration also recognizing the need to encourage children to make that connection to nature and the outdoors.
“So many children are spending more time indoors these days, often in front of screens, and if we don’t act, there will be severe consequences as they become adults,” said Gregory Miller, President of American Hiking Society. “Getting kids outside will help improve health outcomes, academic success, and also ensure that America’s public lands will still have champions when their generation becomes the stewards of these incredible parks and forests.”
Every Kid in a Park will not only provide passes for 4th graders and their families, but will also assist many schools with grants to help pay for transportation to get the students and their teachers out to the parks and forests. Additionally, the National Park Service and other federal agencies will provide educational materials to the schools to help ensure that the outings are as educational as they are fun.
American Hiking Society looks forward to deepening our partnership with the Administration and National Park Service to help ensure the success of Every Kid in a Park by getting every 4th grader and family outdoors and on our treasured public lands to enhance the great legacy of America’s natural landscapes for generations to come.
About American Hiking Society
Founded in 1976, American Hiking Society is the only national, recreation-based nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and protecting America’s hiking trails, their surrounding natural areas and the hiking experience. To learn more about American Hiking Society and its mission and programs, visit https://americanhiking.org/ or call (800) 972-8608.
Peter Olsen, Vice President for Programs & Government Relations
POlsen at AmericanHiking.org