RELEASE: NYC 4th graders get free passes to visit public lands and waters

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Contact:
Virginia Cramer, 804-519-8449, Virginia.Cramer@sierraclub.org
Jackie Ostfeld, 202-821-8877, Jackie.Ostfeld@sierraclub.org

NYC 4th graders get free passes to visit public lands and waters OAK helps launch the Every Kid in a Park initiative in Harlem

Today, the National Park Service, the US Forest Service, members of the Outdoors Alliance for Kids, and other groups helped to launch the Obama Administration’s Every Kid in a Park NYC initiative with an event in Harlem. Two hundred fourth-grade students were among those joining the event at Hamilton Grange National Memorial. The students received free passes to America’s public lands and waters through the Every Kid in a Park initiative, which seeks to connect young people with the great outdoors by granting free entry to national parks for all fourth-graders and their families.

In response, participating members of the Outdoors Alliance for Kids issued the following statements:

“The North Face is pleased to support the Every Kid in a Park initiative. At The North Face, we believe that exposure to the outdoors in a child’s life has many benefits, including being great for physical health, instilling a sense of adventure and developing a respect for the environment that remains in adulthood,” said Todd Spaletto, President of The North Face. “We are proud to support President Obama in his effort to combat the decline of young people’s connection to the outdoors by introducing all young people to the wonders of exploration. Our hope is that by encouraging kids to explore early, they will go on to become conservation-minded, long-term stewards who will pass these beliefs on to the next generation.”

“The Sierra Club is proud to support the Every Kid in a Park initiative. As a child I spent countless hours in the woods and streams near my house and was lucky enough to hike, camp, and canoe with my family and classmates. America’s public lands belong to all of us, yet today too many kids are missing out on the joys of spending time outside. All children should have a chance to experience the wonders of nature no matter where they live. As today’s event demonstrates it’s possible to connect with the outdoors even in urban centers,” said Sierra Club Board Member and New York resident Loren Blackford, who attended the event. “As we celebrate the centennial of our National Parks, the Sierra Club is committed to engaging the next generation and connecting them with the next century of conservation.”

“From Harlem to Yellowstone, Wilderness Inquiry wholeheartedly supports the Every Kid in a Park initiative,” said Wilderness Inquiry Executive Director Greg Lais. “It’s amazing to see how excited these kids are when they first lay eyes on a Voyageur canoe. New York City is a priority for Wilderness Inquiry and we look forward to getting more kids from the Big Apple out on the river over the years.”

“Discover Outdoors is proud to be a supporter of Every Kid in a Park,” said Discover Outdoors Founder and Executive Director, Kirk Reynolds. “To lead tomorrow, New York City students need to be connected to nature today, where science is learned experientially, and character is shaped through team-work and adventure.”

“The Outdoors Alliance for Kids is honored to participate in today’s NYC launch and to support the Every Kid in a Park initiative for fourth graders across America,” said OAK Co-Founder and Chair, Jackie Ostfeld. “Too few children have opportunities to explore and enjoy the natural world. OAK members are answering President Obama’s call to action to connect America’s 4th graders with our public lands because we believe that time spent outdoors leads to healthier kids and a healthier planet.”

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About the Outdoors Alliance for Kids (OAK)
OAK is a national strategic partnership of organizations from diverse sectors with a common interest in connecting children, youth and families with the outdoors. The members of OAK are brought together by the belief that the wellness of current and future generations, the health of our planet and communities and the economy of the future depend on humans having a personal, direct and life-long relationship with nature and the outdoors. OAK brings together more than eighty businesses and organizations including the American Heart Association, Children & Nature Network, Izaak Walton League of America, National Recreation and Park Association, National Wildlife Federation, The North Face, Public Lands Service Coalition (a program of The Corps Network), REI, Sierra Club, The Wilderness Society and the YMCA of the USA to address the growing divide between children, youth and the natural world. For more information:www.outdoorsallianceforkids.org