CITIZEN VOICES® Strong majority support free park admission for children - 247 participants

Feb 02, 2017

SB 217 is a bill to give free admission to state parks and recreation areas for New Hampshire residents under age fifteen. Right now the state offers free park admission to anyone under age five or over age sixty-five, and charges a reduced fee for children age six to eleven. Read more about this issue here. On February 2, Citizens Count, NH’s Live Free or Die Alliance decided to put the issue to its Facebook members, posting the question, “Should children get free admission at state parks?”

Should children get free admission at state parks?

State Park Admission New Hampshire Citizen Voices Chart

Participation: 247 participants gave 386 responses.

A total of 91% of those participating gave a ‘yes or no’ response to the question. The remaining 9% of participants engaged in the discussion but did not give a ‘yes or no’ response. In total, 247 individuals from New Hampshire contributed a total of 386 responses or reactions to this question. Click here for details on our methodology.

[Note: Citizens Count NH also received additional comments from 27 individuals from outside New Hampshire.]

What Participants Said

Yes: A strong majority, at 82% of ‘yes or no’ respondents, were in favor of granting children free admission to state parks.  

  • “As a New Hampshire resident, I believe children under 16 should receive free admission to state parks.”
  • “Yes, they should. There is no better education for a child… than out in the woods learning about nature.”
  • “It would help out parents a great deal. Maybe they will be able to go more often and enjoy our beautiful lakes and parks.”

No: The minority of ‘yes or no’ respondents, at 18%, were opposed to granting children free admission to state parks.

  • “As long as all of the money goes to paying employees or upkeep on the park then everyone should be charged.”
  • “The parks need to be maintained and staffed. The people who use them should pay their way.”
  • “I want to say yes, but I love our state parks and I love how well kept they are. I do not mind paying a minimal fee for a whole day of relaxing in one of our beautiful state parks.”

Other: As noted above, 9% of those participating did not give a ‘yes or no’ response, instead addressing their comments to related questions and issues.

  • Other proposals: “There needs to be some creative thinking to come up with better ways to finance the parks.”
  • Park policies: “Actually dogs are allowed in state parks. There are areas where they may be restricted but just about every park I've been to, I've had no issues.”
  • Fees in general: “All NH residents with a valid ID should be allowed in for free. Let the out-of-staters pay.”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes. 

Related Bill

SB 217 (2017)
Bill Status: Killed in the Senate
Hearing date: Feb 14, 2017

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