JACKSON, Wyo. – In celebration of National Park Week and this year’s National Park Service Centennial, Grand Teton Lodge Company (GTLC) announces its continued commitment to support the national Every Kid in a Park initiative by hosting National Park Service Deputy Director Peggy O’Dell and, for the second year, the fourth grade class of Donald D. Stalker Elementary School from Blackfoot, Idaho, May 25-27. Announced by President Obama last year, the Every Kid in a Park initiative aims to engage and create opportunities for every fourth grade student across the country to connect with and have a meaningful experience in a Park.
“This partnership between the National Park Service and the Grand Teton Lodge Company to support the Every Kid in a Park initiative this May will be a thrilling adventure for the fourth grade class from Donald D. Stalker Elementary School,” said National Park Service Deputy Director Peggy O’Dell. “With the National Park Service celebrating its Centennial this summer, it’s a momentous time to experience our country’s most iconic destinations. GTLC is helping children who might not otherwise get to have a national park experience to make memories in Grand Teton National Park.”
During the overnight field trip to the Tetons, the students will be guided through a curriculum presented by Grand Teton National Park rangers and GTLC staff to gain a true appreciation for the Park’s flora and fauna, as well as camaraderie and recreation in the great outdoors. GTLC will be providing transportation, lodging, meals, activities and educational programming.
“We are thrilled to continue our support for Every Kid in a Park for a second year and honored National Park Service Deputy Director O’Dell will join us this May,” said Alex Klein, vice president and general manager of GTLC. “Engaging our nation’s youth in our National Parks is an initiative our company is truly passionate about.”
Brandee Hewatt, principal of Donald D. Stalker Elementary added, “The Every Kid in A Park initiative is a tremendous opportunity for the fourth grade class. Many of our students and their families’ financial situations would not allow them to travel to a destination of this kind or even to stay in a hotel. This is an experience we hope the students will remember and use to further expand their education of the surrounding beauty of our area. We hope this inspires our fourth graders to have a curiosity of our nation’s parks, environment, and the world around them.”
In addition, The Coleman Company, Inc. will be donating camping equipment for the Donald D. Stalker Elementary fourth grade class during their trip to the Park in May. Furthermore, GTLC is partnering with Coleman to encourage local fourth grade students and their families to experience camping by offering five completely outfitted campsites at Colter Bay Village for 30 days starting June 10. These campsites will be available to incoming and outgoing fourth grade students from Teton County Public Schools. Coleman is donating camping supplies – tents, sleeping bags, lanterns and more – for each campsite; similarly GTLC is providing the campsites free of charge as well as firewood and s’mores. At the conclusion of the program, the slightly used equipment will be raffled off to participants in the program to enable future camping trips on their own. Additionally, park fees will be waived for current fourth graders and their families by the National Park Service.
“Providing the perfect equipment for exploring the outdoors is what our company is all about and we’re delighted to help create memories that will last a lifetime for fourth graders and their families this summer,” David Allen, president of Coleman U.S.
Last year, GTLC was the first partner of this initiative to bring fourth grade students to experience the majesty of a national park and it was such a success that the company is hosting this year’s fourth grade class. Donald D. Stalker Elementary, a Title 1 school, is 120 miles from the Grand Teton National Park and was chosen because of its diverse student population that, while located just a few hours away, has had little exposure to its neighboring national parks.
Every Kid in a Park is part of the National Park Service’s Centennial campaign. Designed to keep parks relevant to an increasingly urban and diverse nation, federal and state park and recreation agencies are offering Every Kid in a Park passes to all fourth graders for fee free entry and will get many fourth graders into a national park through hosted visits.
Images from the 2015 Every Kid in a Park experience with GTLC can be found here.
About Grand Teton Lodge Company
With a mission to preserve, protect and inspire, Grand Teton Lodge Company is an authorized concessioner of the National Park Service within Grand Teton National Park operating the lodging, restaurants, tours and activities at Jackson Lake Lodge, Jenny Lake Lodge, Colter Bay Village and Flagg Ranch Company at Headwaters Lodge & Cabins, as well as the Jackson Hole Golf & Tennis Club, which is located just outside the park in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. GTLC is committed to a comprehensive systematic approach to sustainable business practices that preserve the environment, provide quality service, and offer a healthy and safe place for its guests and employees. For more information visit www.gtlc.com.
About Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MTN)
Vail Resorts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is the leading global mountain resort operator. The Company’s subsidiaries operate nine world-class mountain resorts and three urban ski areas, including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Perisher in Australia; Afton Alps in Minnesota, Mt. Brighton in Michigan and Wilmot Mountain in Wisconsin. The Company owns and/or manages a collection of casually elegant hotels under the RockResorts brand, as well as the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning and development subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN). The Vail Resorts company website is www.vailresorts.com and consumer website is www.snow.com.