In partnership with Outer Banks Forever, funds will cover transportation costs for field trips for students attending local Title I schools

A fourth grade student holds up his visitor pass at Wright Brothers National Memorial.

A fourth grade student holds up his visitor pass at Wright Brothers National Memorial. Photo: National Park Service.

KILL DEVIL HILLS, NC and MANTEO, NC — Last month, Cape Hatteras National SeashoreFort Raleigh National Historic Site and Wright Brothers National Memorial were collectively awarded an Open OutDoors for Kids grant of $7,400 from the National Park Foundation. The goal of the grant program is to provide K-12 students, educators and families with access to national parks around the country through both in-person and virtual learning opportunities.

“Open OutDoors for Kids is an initiative from the National Park Foundation to connect more kids to their national parks through fun and engaging activities,” the program’s website states. “Children today are more disconnected from their natural and cultural heritage than ever before. Open OutDoors for Kids is changing that — building on a child’s innate wonder and curiosity about the natural world. National parks are gateways to self-discovery and learning and Open OutDoors for Kids is making sure all kids from across the country get the chance to experience them.”

Through a partnership with Outer Banks Forever, the official nonprofit partner of the three Outer Banks national parks, the Open OutDoors for Kids grant funds will be used to cover transportation costs for field trips for students at 12 Title I schools in Currituck County, Dare County and Tyrrell County.

“We are thrilled to be able to provide this opportunity for teachers to get their students out of the classroom to learn about and experience the unique history and environment found in our OBX national parks — something a surprising number of students from these local counties have never done,” said Jessica Barnes Green, director of Outer Banks Forever.

Each year, students across North Carolina learn about the state’s history, including the important stories of Native American peoples, English exploration, the Freedmen’s Colony on Roanoke Island and the Wright brothers’ first flight, which the Outer Banks national parks preserve. Since many field trips were postponed in 2020, more local schools have expressed an interest in visiting the parks in the coming year.

“I think that this gives kids a sense of place; they can be in the places where history happened,” said Amiee Ginnever, lead interpretive park ranger at Wright Brothers National Memorial. “And the best thing about this grant is that it is for Wright Brothers, Cape Hatteras and Fort Raleigh, which is really important because traveling in between the parks is a good distance [130 miles].”

While field trips will be tailored to current academic curricula for fourth grade students who are learning about North Carolina history, all students who are attending Title I schools in Currituck County, Dare County and Tyrrell County are eligible to participate in field trips to the parks. Schools that are interested in virtual or in-person field trips to the Outer Banks national parks may email Amiee Ginnever at or may email

Outer Banks Forever continues to raise much needed funds for projects like this in all three of the Outer Banks national parks — Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site and Wright Brothers National Memorial.

About Outer Banks Forever

Outer Banks Forever is the official nonprofit partner of the Outer Banks national parks – Cape Hatteras National SeashoreFort Raleigh National Historic Site and Wright Brothers National Memorial – helping to protect and enhance these special places.

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About National Park Service

More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 423 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities.

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About National Park Foundation

The National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks and nonprofit partner to the National Park Service. Chartered by Congress in 1967, the National Park Foundation raises private funds to help protect more than 84 million acres of national parks through critical conservation and preservation efforts and connect all Americans with their incomparable natural landscapes, vibrant culture and rich history.

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