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President Obama just introduced a very exciting new initiative today called “Every Kid in the Park“. This program will provide every fourth grader and their families free admission to our national parks and recreational sites for a full year!

The “Every Kid in a Park” program will begin in the fall, just in time for the start of the 2015-2016 school year. This also happens to coincide with 100th anniversary of the National Parks Service.

According to the White House 80% of American families live around cities where children spend more than 53 hours every week glued to their electronic devices. This initiative is a push to get kids and their families outdoors and active and hopefully inspire a love for nature.

The immediate goal is to provide an opportunity for each and every 4th grade student across the country to experience their public lands and waters in person throughout the 2015-2016 school year.

Every 4th grader family interested will receive a FREE annual pass! Currently an annual pass is $80.00. If you are not a family with an incoming 4th grader you can still take advantage of the annual FREE days (which I always blog about).

In addition President Obama also released that there will be 3 sites throughout the country that will be designated as new national monuments: Pullman town in Illinois, which played a role in the civil rights movement; Honolulu National Monument in Hawaii, the site of an internment camp during World War II; and Browns Canyon National Monument in Colorado, a huge area scenic area in the Arkansas River Valley.

If you want to get a head start and start planning your year, here’s a link to find a National Park near you. As a the Mom of an incoming 4th grader and a Girl Scout Leader I am extremely happy to hear this news. I look forward to discovering more of our National Parks this coming year and deepening my daughter’s love of the outdoors.

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