First Ladies Want You to “Find Your Park”

Wed, May 06, 2015 @ 08:05 AM Dawn M. Smith Military Life, Travel Tips

The NPS and the White House are focused on driving a younger generation into the country’s nearly 2,000 recreational sites with two new initiatives.

Michelle Obama and Laura Bush co-chaired the Find Your Park campaign in effort to draw attention to the many different types of parks closer to your home than you think. The Every Kid in a Park initiative offers a free annual pass to all fourth graders and their families. Each campaign brings awareness to the country’s youth of the park’s possibilities and urges their parents to vacation in some of the best landscapes the U.S. has to offer.  

Find Your Park

A quick review of the Find Your Park website shows just how easy it is to punch in your zip code and locate the closet recreation site to your home and view scheduled events associated with that park. Use filters to investigate which type of experience you would like with searches by activities, states, and parks. You’ll be amazed how many options are within an easy drive!

Every Kid in a Park

A White House press release describing the initiative states, “Today, more than 80 percent of American families live in urban areas, and many lack easy access to safe outdoor spaces. At the same time, kids are spending more time than ever in front of screens instead of outside. A 2010 Kaiser Family Foundation study found that young people now devote an average of more than seven hours a day to electronic media use, or about 53 hours a week – more than a full time job.”

Along with free entrance to the parks for fourth graders, Every Kid in a Park has produced resources for schools and families to utilize while planning trips. The National Park Foundation (NPF) is the congressionally chartered foundation of the National Park Service and is expanding its resources to help needy schools get their students outdoors.

These opportunities include transportation grants for kids to visit federal parks and waterways. NPS has recently overhauled its website to include learning materials for developed for K-12 teachers and students. Lesson plans, science labs and field trip guides are part of the 1,000 materials found there.

If your family doesn’t have a fourth grader, don’t worry; military members are eligible for free annual passes and there are upcoming fee free days:

August 25: National Park Service Birthday

September 26: National Public Lands Day

November 11: Veterans Day

Best of all, there are only 127 of 407 National Parks that charge an entrance fee!

Don’t let your kids have a full-time job as screen readers. Take advantage of our transient military lifestyles and see what wonders this country holds. MilitaryByOwner has many travel blogs and articles to pique your next bout of wanderlust.

Click here for FREE travel resources for military families!