May 15, 2015

Senate Designates May 16 Kids to Parks Day

Bipartisan Resolution Kicks Off Summer Events to Encourage Children to Live Active Lifestyles

Washington, DC  -- U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, Cory Booker, D-N.J., Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Mike Lee, R-Utah, today applauded the Senate’s passage of their resolution to promote active lifestyles for America’s children by designating May 16 as National Kids to Parks Day.

Started in 2011 with the National Park Trust, the fifth annual Kids to Parks Day kicks off a summer-long series of events at local, state and national parks. The Senate passed the resolution by unanimous consent last night. The senators introduced the legislation on April 29.

"Oregonians' love of the outdoors begins in childhood and continues throughout a lifetime of enjoying all the recreation our beautiful state's rivers, lakes, mountains, forests and parks offer,” Wyden said. “The Senate’s designation of National Kids to Parks Day highlights the importance of that connection with the outdoors by encouraging kids to get outside at an early age."

"As America prepares to celebrate the centennial anniversary of our national parks in 2016, I hope families will use this year's Kids to Parks Day to encourage our kids to experience and enjoy the great outdoors,” Portman stated.  “I’m pleased I could help ensure Congress honored this very special occasion and look forward to venturing out to Cuyahoga Valley National Park and national park units in Ohio very soon.”

“The Senate’s designation of May 16th as Kids to Parks Day is a great way to encourage all of our keiki and their families to get out and enjoy the multitude of county, state, and National Parks that Hawaii has to offer,” Hirono said. “This day provides the opportunity to showcase our state’s beautiful and unique ecosystems in hopes of facilitating a healthy, active lifestyle as well as fostering an appreciation for nature in future generations.”  

“Our parks are a national treasure that all Americans should have the opportunity to enjoy,” Booker said. “Tomorrow, as Kids to Parks Day kicks off another summer, this designation encourages families in New Jersey and all across the country to celebrate, appreciate, and explore America’s great outdoors.”

"Whether it's walking to the local park down the street or hiking and camping in a national park, our public lands are uniquely American and offer endless opportunities for kids to explore, learn, and play," Heinrich said. "National Kids to Parks Day is a special occasion for families to spend time outdoors and can inspire a lifelong connection to conservation, while reaping all of the health benefits that go along with an active lifestyle."

"Utah is known for its famous federal parks, but it also has remarkable local parks that children visit on a more regular basis,” Lee said. “I hope that on this 'Kids to Parks Day' more children will enjoy the adventures of the outdoors with their peers and families, and that communities will rally to ensure these places remain a safe place for independent play."

The fifth annual Kids to Parks Day will be Saturday, May 16, 2015. To find a list of events near you, click here