Bedford, IN – September 11, 2015. The Hoosier National Forest 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.
Starting September 1st, fourth graders nationwide can visit the new Every Kid in a Park website to obtain a pass that provides free access to students and their families to federally managed lands and waters – including national forests, grasslands, wildlife refuges and waters. The pass is valid for the 2015-2016 school year 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.
“The Every Kid in a Park initiative will help plant seeds of knowledge, respect and understanding of the natural world into the minds and hearts of children. Cultivating a generation of children who understand the importance of natural resources, like those so plentiful in our Nation’s forests and grasslands, will continue the Forest Service’s legacy to manage the land for the ‘greatest good for the greatest number in the long run.’ ” — U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell
Hoosier National Forest offices in Bedford and Tell City are open Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 4:30 PM. Students must be present when obtaining the passes.
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 can log onto the website at www.everykidinapark.gov and complete a fun educational activity in order to obtain and print their pass. Students can also trade in their paper pass for an official access card at participating federal sites nationwide.
Educators and community leaders can access educational activities, field trip options, and the ability to print passes for their classrooms. Parents visiting the new website can find additional links for more information on planning trips to nearby public lands.
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 administered 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.
For 110 years, the Forest Service has been a leader in environmental education. The Forest Service has an array of programs designed to get people into the woods, especially children. The agency reaches an average of 5 million people with conservation education programs, including Childrens’ Forests, NatureWatch, a series of distant learning adventures FSNatureLIVE that covers topics such as climate change, pollinators, bats, and wetlands.
For more information, please visit www.everykidinapark.gov, and follow the program on Twitter @everykidinapark, on Facebook, on Instagram and Youtube. For additional information on the Hoosier National Forest, please visit www.fs.usda.gov/hoosier/ and participate in the conversation on Twitter @HoosierNF or Facebook at U.S. Forest Service – Hoosier National Forest.