Climate Change Response

The National Park Service (NPS) Climate Change Response Program (CCRP) is partnering with No Barriers Youth to host two fully-funded Every Kid in a Park programs in Spring 2016.

The opportunity was opened to all National Park Service Units to apply and two park units were selected: Cape Cod National Seashore and Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.


This opportunity is currently open to elementary and high schools within a 1.5 hour drive of each of the two parks to apply for their students to participate in this fully-funded program.

The Every Kid in a Park events offered under this initiative will provide diverse youth with experiential learning opportunities related to climate change in national park units. Together, CCRP and No Barriers Youth will engage high school and 4th grade students in an exploration of climate change issues, equipping students with tools to understand and help solve this important global challenge. These events will directly support NPS Centennial efforts, the #FindYourPark campaign, and the Climate Change Response Strategy.

Program Information

  • One high school and one elementary school close to each of the two identified parks will be selected.
  • At each high school, 15-20 students who demonstrate interest, academic merit and leadership will be selected to participate.
  • In January-March 2016, the high school students and the entire 4th grade from each of the selected elementary schools will participate in preparatory curriculum related to climate change and the national park unit they will visit.
  • In the late spring (April-May 2016), the selected 15-20 high school students in each region will participate in a retreat at the selected national park unit near their school for three days and two nights.
  • During the final day of each high school retreat, the entire 4th grade from each elementary school will travel to the selected national park unit near their school for a day of activities led by the high school leaders.
  • After the retreats, all four schools will conduct a service project that addresses issues of climate change in their communities.
Selection Criteria for Schools:
  • Each school must be within a 1.5 hour driving distance from one of the two selected national park units.
  • An educator from each school must apply for the opportunity for his/her school to participate and must be able to commit to being the point of contact between the school and No Barriers Youth. This educator will also disseminate information about the CCRP to families, facilitate the completion of forms from families, and coordinate logistics with the school, including securing teacher chaperones.
  • The school must be willing to implement preparatory curriculum leading up to the retreat at the national park unit as well as student-driven service projects related to climate change after students return from the program.
  • For the two high schools selected, the educator who applies from each school will be asked to identify 15-20 student leaders.
Accepting School Applications

We are no longer accepting applications.

We’ve received applications from teachers and administrators at both elementary and high schools that are within a 1.5 hour driving distance of one of the two selected parks: Cape Cod National Seashore or Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. After reviewing all applications, we will select one high school and one elementary school near each of the two parks and announce them here.

Selection Criteria for High School Student Leaders

  • Demonstrated interest in participating in this program
  • Enthusiasm for teaching about environmental issues including climate change
  • Interest in leading 4th graders in the community
  • Academic merit
  • Leadership
To learn more about the new White House youth initiative to get all 4th graders and their families to experience the places that are home to our country’s natural treasures, rich history, and vibrant culture, visit: Open OutDoors for Kids part of the National Park Foundation

The Partnership Between NBY and the NPS

While No Barriers Youth strives to help young people find their place in the world, the National Park Service provides inspirational settings for the exploration, discovery, and contemplation it takes to get there. One of NBY’s most successful methods for achieving its mission is to engage youth in learning about environmental issues while also providing the opportunity to make personal connections to the natural world. Through previous projects developed in partnership with NPS, these experiences have often taken place in national parks units. NBY, therefore, is committed to a continued partnership with the National Park Service that meshes the missions of both organizations.


National Parks, Every Kid in a park