Students participating in the national fourth-grade “Every Kid in a Park” campaign are running out of summer days to use their vouchers for free admittance to national lands. To encourage fourth-graders to use their passes in Rocky Mountain National Park, the Estes Park Visitor Center is giving each fourth-grade

student a free Estes Park backpack filled with goodies that can be used while visiting the area.

To help engage and excite the next generation of park visitors, supporters and advocates, the White House, in partnership with Federal Land Management agencies, launched the Every Kid in a Park initiative. All children in the fourth grade have access to their own “Every Kid in a Park” pass at www.everykidinapark.gov. This pass provides fee-free access to national parks, national forests, national wildlife refuges and other national lands and waters. For students who just finished the fourth grade, the pass is good until August 31, 2016. 

In January Visit Estes Park invited Colorado school children to participate in the national program by providing fourth graders in 593 public schools throughout Northern Colorado, Denver and Colorado Springs with an Official Estes Park Visitor Guide and information about the “Every Kid in a Park” program. Before the end of the school year, those same students received information about the free Estes Park backpacks.

Students were invited to stop by the Estes Park Visitor Center, at 500 Big Thompson Avenue, and present their “Every Kid in a Park” voucher or pass to receive their free backpack. Each fourth-grader receives one free backpack filled with a water bottle, wildlife picture books, crayons, stickers and more. Other children in the family receive free Estes Park stickers.

“This has been an overwhelmingly successful project,” said Visit Estes Park President & CEO Elizabeth Fogarty. “For years I’ve hoped we could reach out to youngsters in a positive way to provide memorable Rocky Mountain National Park experiences. “Every Kid in a Park” provided the perfect avenue to do just that.”

Visit Estes Park worked with several businesses and the Town of Estes Park to collect contributions to the backpacks and to distribute them through the Visitor Center. The project started with three hundred backpacks and will continue in some fashion as long as interest remains high.

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