National Kids to Parks Day

Published 12:46 pm Tuesday, May 17, 2016

All 36 Virginia State Parks will feature kid-friendly programming in conjunction with National Kids to Parks Day on Saturday. Visitors can also receive a coupon for a free return visit to any Virginia State Park.

Now in its sixth year, National Kids to Parks Day is sponsored by National Parks Trust. Founded over concern that children were not spending enough time in nature, the event encourages families to get outdoors, lead a more active lifestyle and foster an appreciation for nature and public lands.

“It’s so important that children get outdoors and get active,” said First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe. “Virginia State Parks offer countless opportunities for young people and families to learn about nature in engaging and safe ways. State park rangers are committed to helping people experience and enjoy nature, and that’s why I encourage all Virginians to join me in a Virginia State Park on (Saturday).”

A complete list of programs by park can be found at: http://bit.ly/KTP2016.

Many programs are great for first-time visitors and offer basic training in popular outdoor activities, including fishing, camping, hiking, astronomy and more.

In conjunction with Kids to Parks Day, each year the National Park Trust sponsors a contest for students to research the outdoor, educational and stewardship opportunities of a park near their school and to plan a visit. Contest winners visit the park in May at no cost.

Find out more about the nationwide Kids to Parks Day movement at www.kidstoparksday.org.

Visitors may use the free pass any time before Dec. 31.

Kids to Parks Day also starts the Get Outdoors! Challenge. Visitors can log visits to five different Virginia State Parks between Saturday and June 30 and earn a statewide annual pass for free parking. More details on the challenge can be found at http://bit.ly/GetOutdoorsChallenge.