April 27, 2017

Senate Passes Bipartisan Resolution Designating May 20 “Kids to Parks Day”

Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., Cory Booker, D-N.J., Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., and Mazie K. Hirono, D-Hawaii, applauded the Senate’s passage of their bipartisan resolution to encourage children to get outdoors by designating May 20 National Kids to Parks Day.

The seventh annual Kids to Parks Day kicks off a summer-long series of events at local, state and national parks. Kids to Parks Day began in 2011 with the National Park Trust.

More than 731,000 people participated in last year’s Kids to Parks Day, according to the National Park Trust.

“Oregon’s beautiful rivers, mountains and forests give Oregonians a special connection to the outdoors that starts early and lasts a lifetime,” Wyden said after the Senate passed the resolution on Wednesday. “Kids to Parks Day builds on that connection by encouraging young people to get outside, enjoy the outdoors and engage in healthy recreation.”

“I’ve come to realize that I was one of the luckiest guys in the world because I grew up in Maryville, Tenn., which means I grew up next to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. When you grow up next to a national park, you really grow up in the park – spending your weekends and special times there, and the park looms large in many of your childhood memories,” Alexander said. “It is my hope that children across the country will take some time to celebrate Kids to Parks Day on May 20. I hope they go explore our country’s national parks and create their own memories.”

“Our parks are a national treasure where New Jerseyans and all Americans can appreciate the natural environment and the great outdoors,” Booker said. “Kids to Parks Day encourages children and families to get outside and enjoy our local, state, and national parks. I encourage everyone to take part on May 20th.”                    

“I am proud to support the Kids to Parks Day Resolution to encourage youth and their families to visit our treasured national parks,” Portman said. “It’s important to encourage our younger generations to enjoy and experience the outdoors, and I’m pleased that thousands of kids in Ohio will be visiting and learning about our national treasures on Kids to Parks Day.”

"Our parks and public lands offer endless opportunities for kids to explore, learn, and play," Heinrich said. "Connecting kids to the outdoors, whether it’s playing in the local park down the street or hiking and camping in a national park, can inspire a lifelong connection to conservation, while reaping all of the health benefits that go along with an active lifestyle."

“Our parks offer an important environment for our keiki to play in, learn, and explore Hawaii’s natural resources,” Hirono said. “We currently have over 50 state and national parks in Hawaii. Through encouraging our ohana to get outdoors and stay active, we can help plant the seeds of success in our keiki – promoting healthy outdoor recreation and environmental stewardship for years to come.”

The seventh annual Kids to Parks Day will be Saturday, May 20, 2017. To find a list of events near you, click here.