Some of the interests cultivated as children last for a lifetime. Or so The National Park Service hopes.

Though their Every Kid in a Park program, the National Park Service is working to engage children at an early age and expose them to the wonders of the National Parks – presumably to make them life-long lovers of America’s beauty.

The NPS offers all fourth-graders an Annual 4th Grade Pass that allows the child – and their accompanying family – free admission to federal recreation sites during their entire fourth-grade year. “Free” is an irresistible word to many, and the hope is that school groups or families will capitalize on the opportunity to visit national sites without charge.

Every Kid in a Park program is a great way to develop a pipeline of supporters and future customers. The free pass may be enough of an incentive to plan a visit, and the sheer beauty of the national parks themselves should be enough to keep people coming back.

Like the Mariners Bark at the Park program described in yesterday’s dot, this program has little direct cost and lots of potential upsides. If it doesn’t feel right for your organization to attract pups, maybe it can focus its efforts on cultivating tots instead.

Thanks, Meg!

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