Activities

National Parks Launch Second Year of Keiki Park Pass

September 8, 2016, 11:16 AM HST
* Updated September 8, 4:06 PM
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Young park visitor Ethan displays the new Every Kid in a Park free pass for 4th graders and enjoys the Exploring the Summit hike with Ranger Alakea Bidal in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. National Park Service photo.

Young park visitor Ethan displays the new Every Kid in a Park free pass for fourth graders and enjoys the Exploring the Summit hike with Ranger Alakea Bidal in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. National Park Service photo.

Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historic Park and Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historic Park are encouraging all fourth graders to visit both parks for free this year as part of the Every Kid in a Park Program.

The program gives fourth grade students, and those accompanying them, free access to more than 2,000 federally managed lands and waters.

Tammy Duchesne, parks’ superintendent, said, “There’s so much to discover at Kaloko-Honokōhau NHP and Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau NHP, and we’re excited to welcome fourth graders and their ‘ohana throughout the year. Culturally, it is important for the local keiki to pilina (connect) with these parks, learn about the science of ancestral knowledge to gain ‘ike (sight, knowledge) about traditional practices of sustainability, and to experience the Hawaiian culture which lights a fire within them to return to these sacred wahi pana (legendary places).”

Kaloko-Honokōhau NHP and Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau NHP were selected to receive a 2016 field trip grant from the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, to support the Every Kid in a Park program. The grant is part of the Foundation’s Open OutDoors for Kids program.

“These grants are planting the seeds for lifelong relationships with national parks and their programs,” said Will Shafroth, president of the National Park Foundation. “By providing access to transformative experiences like listening to the sound of birds chirping, walking the halls of a school that tell a civil rights story, looking up at a dark night sky, or pitching a tent with a friend for the first time, these children are forever impacted. We appreciate the power of national parks and, through our support; the National Park Foundation hopes to share them with as many kids as possible.”

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The Every Kid in a Park pass—which features a new design for this year’s students—is valid for a full calendar year starting Sept. 1. The pass allows free entry for fourth graders and up to three accompanying adults (or an entire car for drive-in parks) to most federally managed lands and waters, including national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and marine sanctuaries.

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The newly expanded Every Kid in a Park website has links to educational activities, trip planning, field trip options, and a downloadable pass. After completing a fun educational activity, the child can download and print a pass. The paper pass can be traded for a more durable pass at participating federal sites (such as Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau NHP) nationwide.

Every Kid in a Park is part of President Obama’s commitment to protect the nation’s unique outdoor spaces and ensure that every American has the opportunity to visit and enjoy them. The program, entering its second year, is a call to action for children to experience America’s beautiful outdoors, rich history and culture.

Every Kid in a Park is a component of a multi-pronged approach to inspire the next generation to discover all that the 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.

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The Every Kid in a Park program is an Administration-wide effort between the Department of the Interior, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of the Army, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The program continues each year with the then-current group of fourth graders. After 12 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 and to download the Every Kid in the Park pass, go online.

For additional information about Kaloko-Honokōhau NHP, go online.

For more information about Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau NHP, go online.

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