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GSMA, LeConte Lodge donate hiking books to fourth-graders

Posted by | 05.18.2016

In honor of the National Park Service Centennial, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Great Smoky Mountains Association and LeConte Lodge have partnered to provide the award-winning “Day Hikes of the Smokies” guidebook to all fourth-grade students in Sevier County. This generous donation was made in recognition of the National Park Service’s Every Kid a Park initiative.

“Speaking for everyone here at GSMA, we are delighted to be able to share this handy and informative guide with the next generation of park supporters," said GSMA Executive Director Laurel Rematore. "We hope every fourth-grader and their families will explore this remarkable resource that is practically in their backyards!” 

“LeConte Lodge Limited is honored to partner with Great Smoky Mountains Association and the National Park Service in support of the Every Kid in a Park campaign,” said William B. Stokely IV, president of LeConte Lodge Limited Partnership. “By donating ‘Day Hikes of the Smokies’ to fourth graders in Sevier County, we hope to encourage more families to spend quality time hiking together and exploring all that the Great Smoky Mountain National Park has to offer,”

GSMNP Superintendent Cassius Cash and Tasha Wade, LeConte's vice president and CFO, hand-delivered the books to students at Pittman Center Elementary on May 13, just in time for summer break. GSMNP Centennial ambassadors will be distributing the hiking guidebooks to the additional Sevier County fourth-grade students throughout next week. 

“We hope this book inspires the students of Sevier County, and their families, to explore their park this summer and develop a lifelong connection to the natural world around them,” Superintendent Cassius Cash. 

Fourth-graders nationwide can visit the new Every Kid in a Park website to obtain a pass that provides free access to students and their families to all federally managed lands and waters – including national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and marine sanctuaries. The pass grants free entry for fourth graders and three accompanying adults (or an entire car for drive-in parks) at more than 2,000 federally managed sites.  

Fourth-graders can log onto the website at www.everykidinapark.gov and complete a fun educational activity in order to obtain and print their paper pass. Students may also trade in their paper pass for a more durable pass at participating federal sites nationwide.

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