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North Texas 5th Grader Stands Before Lawmakers, Pushes For Free State Park Access

AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) — Ten-year-old Lily Kay has been to roughly two dozen national parks.

Under federal law, fourth graders and their families get in for free.

"I like hiking. I like fishing. I like doing extracurricular things, so it's just fun for me," Kay said.

When she asked about state parks, though, Kay discovered no similar program exists.

Her mother urged her to do something about it, so she wrote her representative and ended up getting called to testify in Austin before state lawmakers.

"I was extremely nervous," Kay said. "My hands were literally sweating, and it was scary, but I got through it."

Despite broad support, her bill stalled in the Senate.

"Every step, I didn't think it'd get past that," she said. But, tacked onto an amendment to a similar measure, it finally passed.

And now as a fifth grader at Mockingbird Elementary, she's already visited several state parks — for free.

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