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Lake Mead, national parks invites kids to visit — for free

Fourth-graders are invited to visit Lake Mead National Recreation Area and all other national parks for free as part of the Every Kid in a Park program.

With their Every Kid in a Park pass, children and those accompanying them, have access to more than 2,000 federally managed lands and waters.

“Lake Mead is America’s most diverse National Recreation Area, and we’re excited to welcome fourth-graders and their families throughout the year to discover its beauty,” said park Superintendent Lizette Richardson. “We hope that our young visitors learn and have fun in the great outdoors and develop a lifelong connection to our nation’s lands, waters and wildlife.”

Lake Mead National Recreation Area offers year-round recreational opportunities for boating, fishing, hiking, photography, picnicking and sightseeing. Lake Mead is also home to thousands of desert plants and animals adapted to survive where rain is scarce and temperatures can soar.

Every Kid in a Park is part of President Barack 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, now entering its second year, is a call to action for children to experience America’s spectacular outdoors, rich history and culture.

In the program’s first year, Lake Mead National Recreation Area handed out more than 1,800 passes to fourth-grade students as part of the National Park Service’s centennial celebration.

The Every Kid in a Park pass is valid for a full calendar year, which began Sept. 1. The pass grants 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.

The newly expanded Every Kid in a Park website, www.EveryKidinaPark.gov, has links to educational activities, trip planning, field trip options, the downloadable pass and additional information in English and Spanish. 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 nationwide.

To support the Every Kid in a Park program, Lake Mead National Recreation Area was selected to receive a 2016/2017 field trip grant from the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks. The grant is part of the foundation’s Open Outdoors for Kids program and will be used to bring school-aged children to the park for nature-based field trips.

“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 tells 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.”

For more information, visit www.everykidinapark.gov. For additional information about Lake Mead National Recreation Area, visit www.nps.gov/lake.

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