May 15, 2024

Senate Designates May 18 as “Kids to Parks Day”

Washington, D.C.U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., and colleagues today applauded the Senate’s passage of their bipartisan resolution to empower young people and their families to get outdoors and promote healthy outdoor recreation by designating May 18, 2024 National Kids to Parks Day.

Started in 2011 with the National Park Trust, the fourteenth 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 resolution legislation on May 9, 2024, and it is cosponsored by Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, Steve Daines, R-Mont., Mazie Hirono, D-Hawai’i, Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., and Angus King, D-Maine.

“At the heart of Oregon are its natural treasures that have long been explored and enjoyed by families in our state,” Wyden said. “National Kids to Parks Day is an annual tradition for Oregon families, and our bipartisan resolution honors this generational connection of young people enjoying the great outdoors and preserving open spaces.”

“There are so many benefits associated with children spending time outdoors,” Hyde-Smith said. “Kids to Parks Day gives us a chance to highlight that fact and to encourage parents, educators, and our youth to get out and enjoy parks and natural spaces.  There are plenty of these in my beautiful state, Mississippi.”

“National Parks offer countless opportunities for children to engage in recreational and educational activities and cultivate a lifelong love of the outdoors,” Collins said. “Our bipartisan resolution would recognize the important role parks like Acadia have in encouraging children to play outside and stay healthy. I encourage every family to take the time to visit and experience all that our National Parks have to offer.”

“Some of my best memories growing up are in Montana’s National Parks,” Daines said. “I want younger generations to have the same experience I did exploring the beauty our great state has to offer.”

“In Hawaii, we have over 50 state and national parks that offer our keiki the opportunity to spend time in nature and learn about how our islands’ natural resources contribute to Hawaii’s rich cultural heritage,” Hirono said. “By designating May 18 as National Kids to Parks Day, this resolution encourages the next generation to spend time outside and promotes outdoor recreation, as well as an active and healthy lifestyle. I am proud to support this resolution to instill in our keiki the importance of connecting with nature and the responsibility to protect our environment for the future.”

“Connecting kids to the outdoors can give them a sense of place, a refreshed perspective, and the physical activity they crave. It also can inspire a lifelong connection to conservation.  I’ve seen this as both a dad and an outdoor educator,” Heinrich said. “A few years back, I was proud to lead the successful effort to provide all fourth graders and their families free access to explore our national parks, forests, and monuments. On this Kids to Parks Day, I encourage all New Mexico families to get outside and enjoy our state’s beautiful public lands.”

“From the rocky coasts of Acadia to the lush greenery of the Katahdin woods, Maine’s outdoor spaces provide the best recreation and economic opportunities – for centuries, they have restored and inspired Maine people of all ages,” King said. “The passage of the Kids to Parks Day resolution acknowledges that the Senate believes in our children having access to the great outdoors. By encouraging our children to get outside, we can not only support the health benefits of outdoor recreation, but also we can instill the importance of conservation of our natural lands in our children for generations to come.”

“Since the National Park Trust established Kids to Parks Day fourteen years ago, our goal has been to encourage families nationwide to discover the many benefits of our country's parks, public lands, and waters. We thank our Senate champions who have co-sponsored this resolution, including Senators Ron Wyden, Cindy Hyde-Smith, Angus King, Susan Collins, Steve Daines, Martin Heinrich, and Mazie Hirono for their help in amplifying this important message through this Senate resolution,” said Grace Lee, Executive Director of National Park Trust. 

The text of the resolution is here.