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New program lets fourth-graders, families visit state parks for free

California will soon offer free annual passes to 19 state parks for fourth-grade students and their families.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 148 Thursday, establishing the California State Park Adventure Pass program. The program is scheduled to begin by Sept. 21.

Steep Ravine Stinson Beach
Jesse Garnier/SFBay A new reservation system goes online next week to allow visitors to reserve spots at California State Parks like Steep Ravine, overlooking Stinson Beach in Marin County, up to six months in advance.

First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom, who championed the program, said:

“Nature is a public good and a crucial public health tool. … For adults and children alike, quality time in nature is good for our hearts, minds, and bodies, No state is better positioned than California to leverage the great outdoors to augment our communities’ health and well-being — especially for youth in underserved communities.”

The federal government has the Every Kid Outdoors Program, which allows families with fourth graders free access to federal parks.

Nik Wojcik/SFBay Sequoia National Park

Earlier this month Newsom signed legislation approving $5.6 million to fund the parks program, as well as an additional $3 million to establish the State Library Park Pass, which allows individuals to check out a day-use state park pass from a library for free.

This story was originally published by EdSource.

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