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Free entry to families with fourth graders in Utah parks



Utah – In the next couple of weeks, many families are heading south for Spring Break.

Thanks to the “Every Kid Outdoors” program, fourth graders and their families can get free access to hundreds of parks, lands, and waters for an entire year.

The program was first introduced in 2016 and saw a significant jump in the number of families with fourth graders visiting these parks. “The increase is significant,” said study co-author Camilla Hodge, a professor at the BYU Marriott School of Business. “Policies definitely have a role to play in affecting family life. They have spillovers into family life and family behaviors.”

Changes were most significant among high-income and white families. Data from Hispanic and African American families indicated a small increase but nothing significant.

“We have a great opportunity for creative problem-solving to ensure equitable access and opportunities for outdoor experiences on public lands,” Hodge said. “The country as a whole can consider how we can improve transportation to these lands, affordability of entry fees, and awareness of the policy aimed towards a broader audience.”


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