Outdoor School, Oregon State Parks launch Get Out There Together program

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University Extension Service and Oregon State Parks are partnering to offer a new program called Get Out There Together, which encourages statewide Outdoor School participants to explore their Oregon state parks.

The program offers three free one-day parking permits to state parks to students who participated in statewide Outdoor School during the 2018-19 school year.

Participating families in the Get Out There Together program can use their parking permits at any of the 25 state parks that charge a $5 parking fee. If they use all three permits by the end of this summer, they are eligible for one free 12-month day-use parking permit. Participants will also receive educational guides and suggested locations and activities for Oregon’s 255 park properties.

“Oregon State Parks and the OSU Extension Service Outdoor School program are committed to helping families continue to engage in the outdoors and extend the amazing opportunities that Outdoor School provides,” said Kristopher Elliott, an Oregon State University Extension Service assistant director who leads statewide Outdoor School.

In November 2016, Oregon voters passed Measure 99, mandating that all Oregon fifth- or sixth-grade students should have the opportunity to attend a week-long outdoor school program or comparable outdoor education program.

Measure 99 created an Outdoor School Education Fund and mandated that Oregon State University Extension Service would support, administer, and fund an outdoor school program as set forth in Senate Bill 439, which approved $24 million for the program’s first two years. School districts in all 36 Oregon counties offer Outdoor School funded by Measure 99.

Nearly 31,000 of Oregon’s eligible fifth- and sixth-grade students participated in the inaugural year of the statewide Outdoor School program in 2017-18. Preliminary figures for 2018-19 show that nearly 43,000 students in 148 of the state’s 197 school districts experienced Outdoor School.

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