National Park Service begins Every Kid in a Park program

In a nationwide effort to familiarize all that call America home with the national wonders of the country, the White House created a program aimed at school-aged children to get them out and exploring the natural wonders.

The Every Kid in a Park program, which began Tuesday and runs through Aug. 31 next year, invited fourth grade students to visit any national park or federal recreational areas for free. All they have to do is log on to website, complete an activity and they will receive a free annual entry pass to the more than 2,000 sites under the National Park Service.

The closest such place to Pahrump, Death Valley National Park, hopes that area youth and their families take advantage of this special offer.

“During the National Park Service’s Centennial celebration, we want everyone to get to know their national parks, and we’re offering a special invitation to fourth graders and their families to discover Death Valley National Park this school year,” said Death Valley Superintendent Mike Reynolds. “We hope these free passes for fourth graders will encourage students, their classes and families to visit iconic locations like Badwater and Zabriski Point and to take a walk through Golden or Mosaic canyons.”

While at the international tourists’ site, all students are encouraged to become junior rangers at Death Valley. To get started, prospective junior rangers can pick up a booklet at the visitor center information desk.

The Every Kid in a Park 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, fourth grade educators, youth group leaders and their students across the country will also participate in the program through field trips and other learning experiences.

Interested teachers can call 760-786-3279 to learn more about field trips to Death Valley.

The goal of the Every Kid in a Park program is to connect fourth graders with the great outdoors, inspire them to become environmentally conscious, and be ready to preserve and protect national parks and other public lands for the foreseeable future.

The program is part of the National Park Service’s centennial celebration in 2016, which encourages everyone to Find Your Park.

Every Kid in a Park is an administrative-wide 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, Fish and Wildlife Service, Forest Service, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Other parks close to Pahrump include Red Rock Canyon and Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona and Zion and Bryce Canyon national parks in Utah.

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