ROCK ISLAND, Ill. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District, is participating in the Every Kid in a Park program, a presidential initiative that was announced by the Obama Administration September 2. The program is part of the president’s commitment to protect our nation’s unique outdoor spaces and ensure that every American has the opportunity to visit and enjoy them.
Starting this month, fourth graders nationwide can visit the new Every Kid in a Park website to obtain a pass that provides free access to students and their families to all federally managed lands and waters – including national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and marine sanctuaries. The pass is valid through August 31, 2016 and grants free entry for fourth graders and three accompanying adults (or an entire car for drive-in parks) at more than 2,000 federally-managed sites.
The Rock Island District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is the largest provider of outdoor recreation in the state of Iowa and has more than 65 recreation sites throughout its boundaries.
“In the Rock Island District we have made it easy for fourth graders to participate in the program by having passes available at all lake project offices including Coralville Lake, Saylorville Lake and Lake Red Rock as well as the ranger stations and visitor centers along the Mississippi River and Illinois Waterway,” said David Reynolds, Chief of Rock Island District’s Natural Resources Management Section. “Access to the Corps parks in the District is free but the pass is still useful for items like day use fees for boat ramps and beach use. It would not however cover expanded amenity fees such as camping, special tours or special permits.”
By introducing fourth graders to public lands in their backyards and beyond at an early age, Every Kid in a Park is part of a multi-pronged approach to inspire the next generation to discover all that our nation’s public lands and waters have to offer, including opportunities to be active, spend time with friends and family, and serve as living classrooms to build critical skills.
To obtain a pass, fourth graders can log onto the website at www.everykidinapark.gov and complete a fun educational activity that will allow them to print a paper pass. The paper pass can then be taken to any participating federal site nationwide and exchanged for a more durable plastic card.
Educators and community leaders can also visit the website to access educational activities, field trip options and print paper passes for their students. Parents visiting the new website can find additional links for more information on planning trips to nearby public lands.
The Every Kid in a Park program is an Administration-wide effort administered in partnership with the Department of the Interior, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Education, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The goal is to continue the program each year with the then-current group of fourth graders. After twelve years, every school-age child in America will have had an opportunity to visit their public land and waters for free, inspiring the next generation to be stewards of our nation’s shared natural and cultural heritage.
For more information, please visit www.everykidinapark.gov, and follow the program on Twitter @everykidinapark, on Facebook, on Instagram and Youtube.