FAMILY

Free national park program not used by families of color

Apr 6, 2022, 1:56 PM

Arches is looking for input from the public to solve an over crowding issue as park attendance has risen 73 percent in the last decade.(Photo: Getty Images)

(Photo: Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah — The Every Kid Outdoors program helps give families with fourth graders easy access to public lands like Arches National Park for free. The main goal is to equalize access to public lands regardless of income, race, or ethnic group.

In a recent study from BYU, professors found an increase of families visiting public parks because of the program. That said, there is still room for improvement. 

Spending time outdoors as a family can help build bonds between parents and children. Additionally, being in natural spaces is a big benefactor to improving mental health, and reducing stress. 

“Families have opportunities to grow close together, for parents to pay attention to children, it’s really important for relational building,” said Jocelyn Wikle, an assistant professor of family studies at BYU.

Data on national park family visit survey 

Professors looked at data from American Time Use Survey that included over 5,000 family responses. A comparison of families using national parks before and after implementing the program was made. 

Data found that families with fourth graders hiking on any given day increased several times. A significant increase that greatly affects family dynamics and behavior. 

“…there might be additional barriers that are keeping some families from taking advantage of this opportunity,” Wikle said. 

Wikle said in a recent interview that research shows giving free admission was helpful for higher income families and white families. That said, the program proves to be less helpful for families of color and low income.

She also said that previous research on similar topics shows that time and cost of transportation could play a role in these results. 

Moving forward, BYU professors plan to take a closer look at ways to address the differences in demographic responses to the program. They hope to find better ways to ensure every child has access to national parks for free. 

Becky Bruce contributed to this report.

Related Stories:

 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Family

Crews respond to a house fire in Salt Lake City on March 8, 2024. (Derek Petersen/KSL TV)...

Simone Seikaly

How to be prepared for a fire in your home

Utah fire officials say having a well-defined plan is crucial when preparing for emergencies like a fire in your home.

4 days ago

Kevin Franke, is speaking up for child welfare reform....

DANIELLA RIVERA, KSL TV

Kevin Franke calls for child welfare reform after YouTube mom sent to prison for child abuse

For more than a year, Ruby Franke abused her children while evading welfare workers. Kevin Franke is speaking up to stop it from happening again.

12 days ago

A small American flag is illuminated by fireworks on Monday, July 4, 2022....

Kennedy Camarena

‘A Woman’s View’: Ways to celebrate the Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is right around the corner! How are you going to celebrate the day? 'A Woman's View' has some ideas for you.

21 days ago

Heidi Thomas, left, and Meggane Vasquez, right, look at each other during the Rainbow March and Ral...

Mariah Maynes

Deer Valley to host its first Pride event, Mountain Pride Day on June 30

Deer Valley announced that it will host its first Pride festival on June 30.

1 month ago

Utah homeownership rates are decreasing, despite growth....

Don Brinkerhoff

Utah cities are clearing the way for backyard homes

Several cities along the Wasatch Front are reportedly loosening their restrictions on so-called backyard homes.

1 month ago

Getting along with the in-laws can be a tricky - but essential - part of the marriage journey. Utah...

Emma Everett Johnson, KSL.com

Struggling with in-laws? USU experts have some advice

Struggling with in-laws? You're not alone. The University of Utah has conducted a research study to help people out who have in-law troubles.

2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

A young woman smiles while reading the menu at a lakeside restaurant, enjoying the panoramic view o...

Bear Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau

The best restaurants to try in Bear Lake

Save this guide to the best restaurants in Bear Lake when you need to find a place to dine during your next visit.

Female leg stepping on weigh scales. Healthy lifestyle, food and sport concept....

Health Utah

Sustainable weight loss: the science-backed way to achieve it

Learn more about Debbie's weight loss journey with Health Utah, who have a unique weight loss philosophy for success.

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...

Comcast

Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

Free national park program not used by families of color