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National Park Foundation and Disney to Connect 500,000 Kids with National Park Experiences by 2017

WASHINGTON – Today, the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, announced a three-year collaboration with Disney to get half a million kids into national parks by 2017. Disney will continue its role as lead sponsor of the Foundation’s Open OutDoors for Kids program and support the Find Your Park campaign.

“Our national parks provide transformative, life-changing experiences that everyone deserves to have. Thanks to Disney’s continued support, already more than 100,000 kids have had the opportunity to explore these treasured places, many for the first time,” said Dan Wenk, interim president of the National Park Foundation. “We are grateful for Disney’s commitment to engaging the next generation of park stewards.”

Open OutDoors for Kids supports the Every Kid in a Park initiative by eliminating barriers that prevent America’s youth from visiting their national parks. Announced by President Obama in February, Every Kid in a Park is geared toward introducing America’s youth and their families to public lands and waters. The national program seeks to connect four million fourth graders with these treasured places in the 2015-16 academic year, coinciding with the National Park Service Centennial celebration.

“The more kids are exposed to the great outdoors, the more they appreciate the beauty and wonder of nature,” said Kevin Callahan, vice president of Community Engagement and Strategic Philanthropy at Disney. “Disney congratulates the National Park Service for opening the outdoors to kids and families for nearly 100 years. We are proud to work with National Park Foundation to make even more park experiences possible, inspiring lifelong conservation values for generations to come.”

The Find Your Park movement is a public awareness and education campaign that celebrates the milestone centennial anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016 and sets the stage for the national parks’ next 100 years. Disney is a premier sponsor of the campaign. Find Your Park invites the public to see that a national park can be more than just a place – it can be a feeling or a state of mind. Further, Find Your Park encourages people to find their own personal connections within the network of national parks and National Park Service programs.

The National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks and nonprofit partner to the National Park Service. Chartered by Congress in 1967, the National Park Foundation raises private funds to help PROTECT more than 84 million acres of national parks through critical conservation and preservation efforts, CONNECT all Americans with their incomparable natural landscapes, vibrant culture and rich history, and INSPIRE the next generation of park stewards.