DENVER – A bill making its way through both the House and the Senate in Washington, D.C. wants to provide 4th graders with free entry to all national parks.
The Every Kid Outdoors Act aims to get kids outdoors and learn about their experiences while at the same time engaging in a bit of exercise. It also encourages more public and private partnerships between federal lands, schools and private and nonprofit organizations.
Rep. Scott Tipton, R-CO, and U.S. Congresswoman Diana DeGette are the two Colorado politicians who helped introduce the bill. Congresswoman Niki Tsongas, D-MA, and Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, R-NY, were also part of the bipartisan mix who introduced the bill in the House.
Senator Martin Heinrich, D-NM, and Senator Lamar Alexander, R-TN, introduced the legislation in the Senate.
“The outdoors is central to Colorado's way of life and our economy. Today’s fourth graders are tomorrow’s outdoor entrepreneurs and conservationists,” said DeGette in a statement.
“Growing up in western Colorado, National Parks have been a big part of my life. They are the backdrop of countless memories and educational experiences for me and my family, and I want to make sure kids across the country have the opportunity to experience the wonder that is our National Park System,” Tipton said.
The legislation is supported by several national organizations, including the Outdoors Alliance For Kids (OAK), National Recreation and Park Association, Sierra Club, YMCA of the USA, The Wilderness Society, National Park Trust, Girl Scouts of the USA, National Wildlife Federation, Trust for Public Land and the Outdoor Industry Association.