Friday, September 25, 2015

Every Kid in a Park Initiative

Arches National Park is free to 4th graders and their families

This is a great time to be a 4th grader or have one in your family. President Obama 's administration is behind an effort to get every kid into a federally owned park.  It began September 1, and it's called "Every Kid in a Park". You can read more about it at the link. Go to the website to answer just a few questions and then print your pass good until next August 31.  It allows free access to the 4th grader and family to every national park.  It sounds like this will continue on an annual basis so when your kid reaches 4th grade, you can apply.

Though we don't have any national parks in Wisconsin, this might be the best time to plan a vacation during Christmas break, Spring break, or next summer.  You can find a park at the National Park Foundation. Thought most people visit our national parks only in warmer weather, you can visit many during the winter.  The photo above was from a trip we made to Arches National Park in winter.  And of course, some parks are beautiful and warm all year round- like the San Juan National Historic Site in Puerto Rico. You can download several interesting guides at the National Park Foundation's website for some inspiration.  All are free.
San Juan National Historic Site has places to explore with kids
Locally, Riveredge Nature Center is adding another layer of benefits.  Any 4th grader can apply for a year of free all access membership at their website.  What do you get?  Year round access to trails, free programs, snowshoe use, admission to over 140 nature centers throughout the country through their reciprocal membership program, and day passes to share. This is the place my son had a great time climbing trees and I know you'll enjoy it too.  This Saturday they host the annual Sturgeon Festival at Lakefront State Park (by Discovery World).  Because it's the tenth anniversary of the festival, expect a great show.  They've invited Dr. Scott Sampson (Dr. Scott from PBS Dinosaur Train, and also author of "How to Raise a Wild Child", a favorite book of mine) who will do a 2:00 show and book signing afterwards.  You can sponsor a sturgeon and release it into the lake.  There will be displays and food.  Lots of fun from 11-3. We'll be there.  Hope to see you too!
Baby sturgeon

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