The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) has announced state grants to public schools throughout New York State to fund field trips to state parks and historic sites for environmental, history and physical education programming.
Funding for the $500,000 Connect Kids to Parks Transportation Grant program comes from the state Environmental Protection Fund’s enhanced Environmental Justice programming approved in the 2016-17 State Budget. The grant is available to Kindergarten-12th grade classes in Title 1 public schools.
According to an announcement by State Parks, more than 120 schools across the state have applied for the grant. The grant application is available online, and is reviewed on a rolling basis for field trips anytime in the 2016-17 school year. For more information click here, or e-mail [email protected]
State Parks also announced that New York will extend the “Connect Kids to Parks” free 4th grade entry to state parks in 2017. New York State Parks, as well as day-use areas operated by the Department of Environmental Conservation, accept the National Park Service’s Every-Kid-In-A-Park pass upon presentation for vehicle entry into all State Parks as long as the fourth grader is present in the vehicle. The pass will also be accepted at State Historic Sites for the pass holder and up to 3 adults for house tour fees. Details about the program are available online.
State Parks estimates that there are about 220,000 4th Graders in New York State. “Research shows that children who interact with nature before age 11 are more likely to have positive attitudes about the natural environment, and many state parks and historic sites have educational programs that serve fourth grade students,” an announcement to the press said.
For more information on the New York State Office of Parks, or any of their recreation areas, call (518) 474-0456 or visit their website.