LEXINGTON, Ky. — Gift givers who want to share their love of the outdoors this holiday season can give the gift of membership to the recently announced Kentucky Parks Club.
A new initiative of the Kentucky State Parks Foundation, club members give $100 – which sends five kids to a Kentucky State Park in 2020 – and receive a Kentucky Parks Club crewneck sweatshirt. Membership in the Kentucky Parks Club will also offer additional benefits throughout the year that include discounts on merchandise and special state park event invitations.
Kentucky Parks Club membership helps fund transportation to one of the 46 Kentucky State Parks & Historical Sites where students participate in educational programs that take place in an outdoor classroom environment. “Kentucky residents are fortunate to be one of the states where admission to state parks is free,” said Molly Caldwell, president of the Kentucky State Parks Foundation. “However, what prohibits our students from attending parks is transportation. Our Inside Out Education program provides grants that allow teachers to pay for buses and other forms of transportation to get students to state parks.”
In the five years since its inception, the Inside Out Education program has sent 6,720 Kentucky students to more than 26 Kentucky State Parks. The Kentucky Parks Club has a goal to send over 10,000 students in total to state parks by the end of 2020.
“When a kid visits a state park, they experience the outdoors in life changing ways,” said Caldwell. “We want to provide all students the opportunity to enjoy an outdoor classroom experience where they get to do things like find fossils at Big Bone Lick State Park or hike to watersheds at Pine Mountain State Park.”
To learn more about joining the Kentucky State Parks Club, visit www.kyparksclub.com and if you are a teacher and want to learn more about applying for and Inside Out Education grant, visit www.kentuckystateparksfoundation.org.