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California fourth graders to receive free annual pass to 19 state parks

A pilot program in California will provide fourth graders with free annual passes to 19 state parks.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California has established a new pilot program that will provide a free annual pass to fourth graders to 19 different state parks.

Today, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation to strengthen the state's efforts to open up access to state parks.

According to a press release, AB-148 creates the "California State Adventure Park Pass." As the release explains, the pass is a three-year pilot program that waves "day-use" entrance fees for fourth graders and their families for a year.

“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,” said First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom, a champion of the program. “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.”

According to a report from AmericanProgress.org, 70% of low-income communities in America are in "nature-deprived areas." 

Earlier this month, Newsom signed SB-129. This legislation included $5.6 million to fund the State Park Adventure Pass, with another $3 million that established the State Library Park Pass. This two-year pilot program provided state park passes to libraries across the state that can be checked out by library guests for day-use.

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