Parks Canada Places Free for Youth 17 and Under Starting 2018

Today, Parks Canada announced that the Government of Canada has decided to make admission to Parks Canada Places for Youth 17 and Under Free starting in 2018.

The Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna, along with Parks Canada’s Honourary Guide for Families, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, advised that by making admission free for youth 17 and under, Canada is celebrating families. Further, they recognize that youth who connect with nature become more knowledgeable about the urgent need to both protect nature and preserve it for future generations.

Their recognition is correct. American youth are similar, as the Nature Conservancy’s survey Connecting America’s Youth to Nature found that 66% of youth say that they “have had a personal experience in nature” that made them appreciate it more. These youth are almost twice as likely to say they prefer spending time outdoors than other youth. They are significantly more likely to express concern about water pollution, air pollution, global warming, and the condition of the environment. Further, they are more than twice as likely to consider themselves a “strong environmentalist”.

The key obstacles to overcome in getting youth to spend more time in nature are a lack of access, a lack of interest, and feelings of discomfort. Four out of five American youth say that the discomfort of nature (bugs, heat or cold, etc.) is a reason they do not spend time in nature. Almost half say they simply are not interested. Many of these reasons would change if the youth could experience time in nature.

The 2018 Parks Canada Discovery Pass is now on sale and you can save 20% if you buy it before December 31. The Pass provides access to Canada’s parks and national treasures throughout an entire year from date of purchase. For more information or to purchase, visit the Parks Canada website.

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Alison Wheatley

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