The Canadian government announced on Tuesday that all national parks will now be free for children under 18 years of age, fulfilling a promise made in 2016. According to Canada’s finance minister, Bill Morneau, the Liberals’ party had agreed to make the parks free for children after an extremely successful 2017, in which park admittance was free of cost for all people to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.
As noted by Morneau, parks were often so full during the free year that people had to be turned away and denied entry. On top of making national parks more accessible to children, the Canadian government plans to spend $1.3 billion on conservation efforts over the next five years, while also including indigenous communities in decisions pertaining to the expansion of national parks.
Canada’s national parks change comes in stark contrast to its neighbor to the south, as the Trump administration has different plans for some US parks. Trump proposed that the US cut two million acres of protected land in Utah in order to make room for oil drilling; this would be done without consent or input from indigenous communities. Beyond stripping land from some national parks, the administration doubled the fare for 17 of the US’s national parks.
There is one bright side for (some) kids in the United States: Currently, kids in the fourth grade–and only the fourth grade–can get into U.S. national parks for free. All that’s required is an Every Kid in a Park paper pass that parents can get here.