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Big Thicket National Preserve gets ‘Open OutDoors for Kids Focus City’ grant

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Posted: Friday, September 21, 2018 4:41 pm

Big Thicket National Preserve and the City of Houston have been selected to receive an Open OutDoors for Kids Focus City grant for the 2018-2019 school year from the National Park Foundation, the official nonprofit partner of the National Park Service. With this grant National Park Service staff can continue working with our partners to facilitate educational field trips for fourth grade students in the Greater Houston Area. By working together to introduce young people to the public lands around them, we can help create a happier and healthier community.

This grant is part of the Foundation’s Open OutDoors for Kids program which creates pathways for kids to explore and connect with park experiences. Beyond making field trips possible, the program raises local community awareness about the importance of connecting kids to the outdoors.

“Trekking along trails, observing our natural ecosystems and engaging with our shared history are experiences that benefit all children,” said National Park Foundation President Will Shafroth. “Making it possible for America’s youth to explore our national parks is an investment in their future and the future of the national parks community.”

The Open OutDoors for Kids – Houston project provides field trip transportation reimbursements for field trips taken by Title I, 4th classes to more than three dozen amazing Greater Houston Area outdoor spaces.  Teachers can easily book a field trip with one of many national, state, and local park partners who provide a variety of curriculum-based natural, cultural, and historical field trips correlated with Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). More about this program can be found at HereInHouston.org/ekiphouston.

Big Thicket National Preserve Superintendent Wayne Prokopetz said, “There’s so much to discover at Big Thicket, and we’re excited to welcome fourth graders and their families again this year. We hope that our young visitors learn and have fun in the great outdoors and develop a lifelong connection to our nation’s land, water and wildlife.”

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