With the school year beginning, it’s a great time to take advantage of the Every Kid Outdoors Program from the National Park Service. The program was created in 2015 in an effort to get more children and families to visit our national parks, and it has been renewed and expanded over the years to now include a wide variety of public lands.
The program is very simple: every 4th grade student (or home school equivalent) in the United States is entitled to get one Every Kid Outdoors pass which is valid from September 1, 2021 – August 31, 2022 (so it is valid all the way through next summer). The pass will admit that student, any other youth under the age of 16 in the party (other youth do not have to be 4th graders), and up to 3 adults free to any site which charges an entry fee. This does not cover other fees like parking fees, camping permits, etc. but covering the entry fees can represent a significant savings to families. Any eligible student/parent can visit https://www.everykidoutdoors.gov to print the free pass or to get more information.
Educators are also able to print out passes from the website for all of their 4th graders, plus there are activity guides that can be downloaded. All you will need to do is visit https://www.everykidoutdoors.gov/educators.htm, download any activity guides you would like, and fill out the information to print out the passes.
The activity guides were developed by the National Park Service, and they are easily adaptable for school use. The four activity guides are:
1. Exploring Federal Lands & Waters
2. Environmental Stewardship
3. Our Nation’s Native Peoples
4. Citizen Science
Where the Pass Can Be Used
The pass can be used at most fee-based sites administered by the following federal agencies:
• National Park Service
• Bureau of Land Management
• Bureau of Reclamation
• National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration
• United States Fish & Wildlife Service
• United States Forest Service
• United States Army Corps of Engineers