WASHINGTON, N.Y. (WWTI) — Eight members of the U.S. Congress have sent a letter to the National Parks Services asking for an extension of the “Every Kid Outdoors’ program, which offers free entrance for families on federally managed public land. The letter asks to extend the program into the 2020/2021 school year.

The Every Kid Outdoors program has previously granted fourth graders and their families free entrance to all federally managed public land. The program has granted this opportunity since 2015. However, the pass recently expired on August 31, 2020.

According to Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, the recent letter addressed to the Park Service requests that they reconsider, and grant a full year extension. Stefanik has lead the sending of the letter.

“North Country families, and families across this country, regularly explore and enjoy our public lands, waters, and historic sites all year round,” said Stefanik. “It is so important that we encourage our students to engage with public lands and learn through them, and unfortunately many of those areas had to temporarily close as a result of COVID-19.”

Additional members of Congress who were included on the letter are Congressman Steve Stivers, Congressman Peter Welch, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Congressman Will Hurd, Congressman Jim Hagedorn, Congressman Bruce Westerman, Congressman Brian Mast, and Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur.

The letter was addressed and sent to National Park Service Exercising the Delegated Authority of the Director, Counselor to the Secretary Margaret Everson on October 19.