My name is Cheyenne and I am a rising 5th grader at an elementary school in Maryland.
This Thursday, August 25, the National Park Service turns 100 years old.To celebrate this anniversary, all national parks will be free to visit from August 25 -- 28, and I wanted to tell you why I hope you will go to FindYourPark.com and plan a visit to some of these amazing places.
Parks are very important to me. When you go to parks, you are able to see just how beautiful and awesome the outdoors can be and how we must be good stewards of our planet.
Sure, you can go on an adventure in a video game, or see someone else's adventure on social media, but think of how much better it would be to LIVE the adventure! With so many national parks in the country, no video game or TV show can beat the fun adventures that exist outside!
Our school is part of National Park Trust’s Buddy Bison environmental education program and that’s how I learned about the President’s Every Kid in a Park initiative. This program, which will start its second year on, gives passes to all 4th graders in the country so that they and their families can visit any national park and public land for free for a full year.
My Every Kid in a Park pass not only provides free entry into all national parks, but also serves as a reminder that I need to keep discovering and exploring new outdoor and historic places. Last June, my classmates and I went to National Colonial Farm at Piscataway Park in Maryland. I enjoyed pretending that we were time travelers going to the 1800s to fix some other time travelers’ mistakes. It was so much fun!
My park visits with my school and family inspired me to write my own book, For the Love of Water, since I learned that it is important that we protect our earth’s water. I have even thought about becoming a park ranger!
Thank you President Obama and the many others who gave 4th graders passes to visit these amazing parts of our country. Even as a 5th grader, without my pass, I want to go to more national parks very soon.
I hope that everyone will join in the celebration of the National Park Service’s 100 years of existence and have the chance to get outside and explore the great outdoors!
- Thanks to your support, 2016 was a record-breaking year for Kids to Parks Day! Watch our KTP Day 2016 summary video.
Since 1983, NPT has supported and assisted in acquiring inholdings and in developing public and private partnerships to promote the acquisition and preservation of parks, wildlife refuges, historic landmarks, public lands, and water ways. We have completed more than 100 park projects benefiting 49 national park units and other public lands in 33 states. To learn more about about our work and how you can get involved, contact Dick Ring, NPT Park Projects Director.
- Buddy Bison® School Program: Because Kids Need Parks and Parks Need Kids
The Buddy Bison school program was created in 2009 to engage diverse children from Title I schools with their local, state and national parks to teach environmental education and the numerous benefits of outdoor recreation. If parks are to survive, the face of those parks must change and under-served communities must have access to these local cultural and environmental resources. More than 80% of the students in the Buddy Bison school program qualify for free or reduced-priced lunch, predominantly in inner city communities. This program has been used in 60 schools across the country in grades pre-K through 8th in public, public charter and private schools across the country (20 states and Washington D.C.).
This experiential learning program enhances existing school curricula throughout the year with emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) as well as history, language arts, reading, geography, the arts, and outdoor recreation. Students also learn about the careers of professionals who support our parks-- and the importance of stewarding our public lands. And in addition to bringing kids to parks, we bring parks to kids by arranging schools visits from our many conservation partners.
To learn more about how you can get involved, contact Billy Schrack, NPT Director of Youth Programs.