Thursday, October 27, 2016

New Grant Program Connects School Children to State Lands

students hiking dec photoThe New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) has announced grant opportunities for 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.

To date 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, e-mail

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 three adults for house tour fees.

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees 180 state parks and 35 historic sites, which are visited by 65 million people annually. For more information on any of these recreation areas or programs, call (518) 474-0456 or visit their website.

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