California State Parks officials and First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom on Wednesday announced a new yearlong program allowing fourth graders and their families to attend 19 state parks for free.
The program focuses on families of fourth graders because research indicates that children ages 9-11 are at a stage in learning where they are more receptive to engaging with nature and the environment, said Siebel Newsom’s spokeswoman Daisy Vieyra.
The federal Every Kid Outdoors program offers free access to federal parks for fourth graders and their families for the same reason.
The 19 parks covered by the pass include beaches, hiking trails and museums such as Morro Bay State Park Museum of Natural History, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Calaveras Big Trees State Park and Hollister Hills State Vehicular Recreation Area. A complete list can be found here.
The pass program is part of Siebel Newsom’s California for All Kids initiative to support children’s physical, mental and social-emotional well-being, according to a Parks and Recreation Department news release.