To ensure all fourth-graders can explore the great outdoors, New York state parks are waiving daily vehicle fees for them and their families for this year, officials said Wednesday.
The state also will pick up the transportation tab for children of all ages, from kindergarten to high school, who live in disadvantaged areas, thanks to a $500,000 program included in the new budget, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said in a statement.
Extolling New York’s scenic beauty, Cuomo said the program exposes young New Yorkers “to these world-class parks in their own backyards and inspire a new generation of environmental stewards.”
The Every Kid in a Park program also covers historic sites and the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s public lands.
New York’s initiative matches President Barack Obama’s waiver of similar entrance fees for fourth-graders and their families at national parks and other sites for this year, Cuomo said.
New York’s fourth-graders can apply for passes at everykidinapark.gov/
Children with passes, accompanied by up to three adults, also qualify for free house tours, the governor said.
On a first come, first served basis, schools can request the transportation grants; starting July 1, the program will reimburse bus costs, tolls and entrance fees.