Kids Connected to Parks

This week, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the launch of the New York State "Connect Kids to Parks" program. The program will enhance educational and recreational opportunities for children while also promoting parks to children and their families in all parts of New York.

New York is partnering with the National Park Service, whose "Every Kid in a Park" initiative announced last year by President Obama provides free entry into all National Parks for all fourth graders in the country. New York state will extend the pass to all State Parks and Historic Sites. Any fourth-grade student, along with their family, can now visit any State or National Park in New York State free of charge.

Connect Kids to Parks will also help transport schoolchildren to outdoor recreation and environmental education programs in state parks and historic sites. This year's state budget includes $500,000 to develop methods to transport grade school students to nearby parks through enhanced Environmental Justice funding in the NYS Environmental Protection Fund (EPF). These funds will provide grants to school districts to enable them to cover the costs of transporting school children to state parks for educational programming in the outdoors. The program will focus especially on students who live in underserved communities with limited access to parks and greenspaces.

To learn more or to sign up a fourth grader for this program, visit New York State Park's website.


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