Washington, D.C. (April 23, 2024)—Earlier this month, National Park Trust, the National Park Service (NPS), and Our Military Kids partnered to bring actively serving military service members and their families to Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky for a day of cave exploration and hiking.  

The National Park Trust was awarded funds by the NPS and is partnering with Our Military Kids to provide National Guard, Reserve, and post-9/11 combat-injured service members and their families access to outdoor recreation opportunities in national park sites nationwide. At Mammoth Cave National Park, families began their day by learning about the park’s rich natural and cultural resources before embarking on a journey into the world’s longest cave system for a historical tour led by park rangers. In the afternoon, families hiked through the Kentucky wilderness and visited another cave at the park, Wondering Woods Cave, for an intimate view of different cave formations.

“We’re excited about our partnership with the National Park Trust and Mammoth Cave National Park. Military families have given so much, and this experience allowed OMK families to strengthen their bonds while acquiring valuable outdoor skills and participating in exciting activities.”

Kara Dallman, a retired U.S. Navy Veteran and the Executive Director of Our Military Kids.

As part of this event, participating military families were presented with their Interagency Military Annual Pass, which provides entrance or access for one year to more than 2,000 federal recreational sites, including all National Park Service sites, for current military members and their dependents.

“We are excited about this opportunity to engage with our local military families. Recreating in the park provides opportunities for the families to create memorable experiences while connecting to nature in meaningful ways.”

Jennifer Shackleford, Environmental Education Coordinator at Mammoth Cave National Park

“National Park Trust is honored to partner with Our Military Kids and the National Park Service to engage National Guard and Reserve families as we work to establish lifelong relationships between military communities and their local national park sites. Exposing families to outdoor education and recreation improves overall wellness and helps ensure future generations of park enthusiasts.”

Grace Lee, National Park Trust executive director

This event at Mammoth Cave National Park is the first of four outdoor recreation-focused events in 2024 hosted by this partnership. Other event locations include Indiana Dunes National Park, IN, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, CA, and Zion National Park, UT.


National Park Trust’s mission is to preserve parks today and create park stewards for tomorrow. Since 1983, the Park Trust has acquired many of the missing pieces of our national parks, benefiting 55 national park sites across the country. Our national youth education and family initiatives, including our Buddy Bison, College Ambassador and Military Family Programs, and National Kids to Parks Day, serve tens of thousands of children annually and cultivate future park stewards. We believe our public parks, lands, and waters should be cared for, enjoyed, and preserved by all for current and future generations. Find out more at

Media Contact: Ivan Levin at 540.818.5818 or


Our Military Kids recognizes the sacrifice of children of deployed National Guard, deployed Reserve, or post-9/11, combat-injured service members or Veterans by offering extracurricular activity grants that build children’s self-confidence, enhance family wellness, and strengthen a shared sense of community. Since 2004, OMK has given more than 88,000 activity scholarships worth $32 million. Learn more at

Media Contact: Michelle Criqui at 703-734-6654 or


More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 429 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.