The following is not exactly running related, but it's Very Cool for those of you with a 4th grader in the house. Yes, I'm posting a press release, but it's a great program. I'm sharing it here on Run Oregon in the hopes that you'll seize the opportunity to take your favorite 4th-grader to a National Park to enjoy everything there, including the opportunity to explore with your own two feet. And here's a list of some National Forests, Parks, and Recreation Areas in Oregon and SW Washington to entice you to read on:
- Lewis and Clark National Historic Park & Trail (Northern Oregon)
- Crater Lake National Park (close-ish to Medford)
- John Day Fossil Beds National Monument (near-ish Bend)
- Lava Beds National Monument (just across the California border south of Klamath Falls)
- Fort Vancouver National Historic Site (Vancouver, Wash.)
- Mount Rainier National Park (Mt. Rainier)
- Oregon Caves National Monument & Preserve (Cave Junction)
It’s back to school time! And with the start of the new school year, it’s also time for all fourth graders and their families to claim their free Every Kid in a Park pass which allows free entry into all federal parks, forests, and recreation areas for a full year.
Starting September 1st, fourth graders can print out a paper voucher for free entry into all federal lands by visiting the Every Kid in a Park website at www.everykidinapark.gov. Students and their families can also redeem their paper voucher for a plastic pass at any Forest Service office. The voucher and passes are valid for the entire school year, September 1, 2016-August 31, 2017.
The Forest Service is partnering with schools and educators across Oregon and Washington to plan Every Kid in a Park events in local communities and distribute passes at back-to-school events this fall. For more information on upcoming Every Kid in a Park events, contact your local forest.
Teachers or adults who engage fourth-graders through a youth-serving organization can print paper passes, and find activities and lesson plans, at www.everykidinapark.gov/get-your-pass/educator.
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, kids are spending more hours than ever in front of screens instead of outside. The Every Kid in a Park initiative encourages valuable opportunities to explore, learn, and play in the spectacular places that belong to us all and aims to inspire future generations to serve as stewards of these places. Research shows that children ages 9-11 are at a unique developmental stage in their learning where they begin to understand how the world around them works in more concrete ways. By targeting fourth graders, the program works to ensure every child in the U.S. has the opportunity to visit and enjoy their public lands by the time he or she is 11 years old.
For more information, visit www.everykidinapark.gov.