RELEASE: Every Kid in a Park Spring Tour

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 21, 2016

Contact: Virginia Cramer, 804-519-8449, Virginia.Cramer@sierraclub.org

Every Kid in a Park Spring Tour

Outdoors Alliance for Kids to get 1000s of fourth graders outdoors this spring

Washington, DC – Today, the Outdoors Alliance for Kids announced its Spring Every Kid in a Park program lineup. OAK members will host a series of events throughout the year to connect thousands of fourth graders with their natural and cultural heritage.

“America is blessed with unrivaled public lands and waters, and through Every Kid in a Park, we’re inviting every fourth grader and their families to enjoy our nation’s great outdoors,” said Secretary Jewell. “Through this program, every 4th grader will have an opportunity to nurture their curiosity and wonder, developing a lifelong connection to our nation’s land, water and wildlife in their backyards and beyond.”

The Every Kid in a Park program is designed to encourage all fourth graders to get outdoors. Fourth graders and their parents, teachers and caregivers can visit www.everykidinapark.gov to learn about the initiative, plan a trip and download the 4th grade voucher for free entry on all federal lands.

“OAK and its members are answering President Obama’s call to connect fourth graders across America with the public lands, waters and shores that belong to them,” said Jackie Ostfeld, Sierra Club’s Nearby Nature Director and OAK Co-Founder and Chair. “Spring has sprung and there’s no better time to kickoff efforts to ensure kids have opportunities to play and learn, as they connect with the natural world and each other.”

Announcing OAK’s Every Kid in a Park Spring Tour

March 17: In Saint Louis, MO, the National Park Trust’s Buddy Bison School program hosted 65 fourth graders from Mullanphy ILC at the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. Kids got a chance to meet Buddy Bison and receive their official Every Kid in a Park passes.

March 22: In Washington, DC, the National Park Trust and Sierra Club are teaming up to bring 20 fourth grade girls from the Washington School for Girls to the Mary Mcleod Bethune Council House National Historic Site to learn about this important civil rights leader and educator during National Women’s History month.

March 23: UC Berkeley and the California Outdoor Engagement Coalition are launching a series of events to get 1000 fourth graders from Richmond, CA, outdoors. The launch event will be held at Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park where 100 kids will participate. Many organizations are supporting this launch event, including Sierra Club.

April 1: No fooling, the National Parks Conservation Association and the National Park Service, and Mahogany Youth are celebrating Every Kid in a Park in Miami, FL, where 50 kids from Miami Dade will go fishing at Biscayne National Park.

April 5: In Petaluma, CA, 85 fourth graders from Hamilton Elementary School will board Voyageur canoes in San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge during an event hosted by Wilderness Inquiry and the National Park Trust.

April 13: Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument in partnership with the YMCA of Central New Mexico will bring 100 students out to the national monument for “Every Kid in a Park: Tent Rocks!” Students will participate in environmental education activities including guided hike tours.

April 18-19: Wilderness Inquiry’s Canoemobile will be in San Francisco, CA, to get 100s of fourth graders on the water in partnership with National Park Trust.

April 21: OAK is teaming up with the National Park Conservation Association, Sierra Club, Baltimore Parks and Recreation, Baltimore Public Schools and many more to host 300 kids on the Star-Spangled Banner Water Trail during a Kids in Kayaks event in Baltimore, MD.

April 25: 150 kids (75 fourth graders) from New York City will hit the Appalachian Trail for some Wildlife tracking with the National Parks Conservation Association.

May: In a series of events throughout the month, SOS Outreach will connect over 200 Eagle County, CO, fourth graders with Colorado National Monument on a four day, three night camping trip complementing Colorado’s fourth grade curriculum on the state’s natural geography.

May 13: National Park Trust’s Buddy Bison Program will bring 64 kids (32 fourth graders) to Big Thicket National Preserve in Texas.

May 14: IslandWood, in partnership with other local organizations, will be hosting a BioBlitz at their campus on Bainbridge Island, WA. In collaboration with the National Park Service, Every Kid in a Park vouchers will be provided to fourth graders from Seattle, WA, and the Island.

May 21: Many OAK members will be on the National Mall in Washington, DC, and in other locations across the country for National Geographic’s BioBlitz.

May 25: Also in Washington, DC, 105 kids will visit the National Arboretum with the National Park Trust and the US Department of Agriculture.

May 31-June 3: In Detroit, MI, several OAK members, including Sierra Club’s Detroit Inspiring Connections Outdoors, program to bring 2,000 fourth graders to Historic Fort Wayne for a series of Every Kid in a Park events. Details are forthcoming on these events, sponsored by the Detroit Public Schools and City of Detroit Department of Recreation, the National Park Service, US Forest Service, US Fish and Wildlife, Army Corps of Engineers and the National Park Foundation.

Additionally, OAK members, the Outdoor Foundation and Outdoor Industry Association have launched Parks4Kids to provide micro grants to teachers, schools and nonprofits to connect our next generation with our nation’s parks and public lands. The campaign’s online platform connects individuals specific school to park experience projects. With a few clicks, funders can give $10 to $10,000 to the project(s) that most inspires them.

OAK will announce summer and fall events later in the year.

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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, led by a steering committee which includes representatives from the Alliance for Childhood, American Heart Association, Children & Nature Network, Latino Outdoors, 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

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Photo Credit: National Park Service; OAK helps launch Every Kid in a Park in Washington, DC