CHEYENNE, Wyoming – The Wyoming Office of Tourism (WOT) is joining Wyoming State Parks and Cultural Resources, the Wyoming Department of Education and the Bureau of Land Management in celebration of the National Park Service centennial anniversary in 2016. As part of this effort, the agencies will sponsor and promote “Every Kid in a Park,” an initiative set forth by the White House.
The “Every Kid in a Park” program provides every 4th grader nationwide with a national parks pass that grants the student and their family free admission to more than 2,000 federally managed lands including national parks, national monuments, national forests, national wildlife refuges and more. Wyoming is home to 37 national park and landmark sites.
As a complement to the federal program, Wyoming State Parks and Cultural Resources will honor the “Every Kid in a Park” passes. This will allow 4th graders and their families to waive admission fees when visiting Wyoming’s 36 state parks and historic sites. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is also encouraging these students to get outside on BLM land. While access to most lands managed by the BLM is free of charge, they will honor the passes at the National Historic Trails Interpretative Center in Casper.
“Our hope is that this program will encourage families with 4th graders to take advantage of the incredible parks we have in Wyoming,” said Diane Shober, Executive Director for the Wyoming Office of Tourism. “There is a significant opportunity to attract visitors from all over the United States with this program. With Wyoming State Parks and the BLM taking this even further, visitors will be able to experience Wyoming’s incredible state parks and BLM-managed lands alongside the national parks they know and love.”
The Wyoming Department of Education will offer additional support to “Every Kid in a Park” by adding a Wyoming- specific coloring book later this year that will highlight Wyoming’s national and state parks and support educational components of outdoor learning. With this program, students will be able to receive hands-on learning experiences by being outdoors.
“As the mother of a 4th grader, I’m looking forward to watching my son and all of his classmates explore and experience all of the wonderful places the state of Wyoming has to offer,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow.
The “Every Kid in a Park” program is designed to introduce children to lands that were purposefully set aside to be enjoyed by all while also developing a new generation of outdoor stewards. It also serves to raise awareness for federal public lands ahead of the National Park Service centennial on August 25, 2016. Passes available as parts of this program are valid September 2, 2015 through August 31, 2016. For more information on the “Every Kid in a Park initiative,” please visit http://www.nationalparks.org/ook/every-kid-in-a-park.