Every Kid Outdoors

      Autumn invites us to pack up the camping gear and head to a park, trail or national monument. If you have a fourth-grade student, your park visit can be free.

      For the fifth year, fourth-grade children can get a free pass to visit more than 2,000 federal recreation areas. The Every Kid Outdoors program is a partnership between the Department of the Interior, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Forest Service.

      The pass provides entry for fourth-graders plus all children under 16 in the group and three adults — or an entire car-full for drive-in locations. The settings include national parks, wildlife refuges, marine sanctuaries and forests. Recent legislation, the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management and Recreation Act, has authorized funding for Every Kid Outdoors for the next seven years.

      The purpose is to reach kids at an impressionable age — nine to 11 — to ignite curiosity and inspire love for the great outdoors. The program replaces Every Kid in a Park, established in 2015.

      “Introducing fourth-grade students to America’s public lands provides them with limitless opportunities to have fun, be active, improve fitness and learn critical skills,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt.

      The Every Kid Outdoors pass covers admission but not amenities or services such as boat rentals, camping or staff-led tours.

     To print your voucher, visit www.nps.gov/everykidoutdoors/index.htm. Passes are valid Sept. 1, 2019, thru Aug. 31, 2020. The printed voucher may be exchanged for a plastic keepsake pass at participating sites.