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We recently found out about this awesome program, Every Kid in a Park, that allows access to every federal land and waterway to all 4th graders for an entire year. We can’t help but think, where was this when we were in the 4th grade? It would have been amazing to visit more of our federal parks as a kid.
A quick rundown for you. From September 1st through the following August 31st your 4th grader is eligible for an Every Kid in a Park pass that grants them and three accompanying adults (or an entire car for drive-in sites) FREE entry to more than 2,000 federally managed sites. Now that’s an amazing program!
Why was this program started?
Good question! With our nation’s children spending more and more time in front of screens (TV, tablets, phones, and computers) President Obama began this initiative to encourage them to explore, learn and play in the spectacular natural spaces that belong to all Americans. With more and more of us living in urban and suburban areas, spending time in the great outdoors isn’t always possible or easy. This program aims to change that.
After looking at the parks on the federal list, we have to say we’re impressed! Not only are the big parks like the Grand Canyon and Redwood National Park but there are a lot of lesser-known areas as well like the Colorado National Monument and the North Cascades National Park. Some of the state parks are getting in on the action too. (Make sure you check with any state parks to see if they’re honoring the Every Kid in a Park pass. You may need to make a phone call to find out.)
You can see what federal locations you can visit here: https://findyourpark.com/your-parks
Or here: https://www.recreation.gov/
How do you get in on the action?
Well, visit Every Kid in a Park’s website so your 4th grader can print off their pass. The site is chock full of information in a kid-friendly way, with an area specifically for parents and educators who may have more specific questions about rules and requirements. Now’s the perfect time to have your 4th grader plan a trip, they may need a little help from you.
Parents and guardians, remember if you’re posting on social media to tag @everykidinapark on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #everykidinapark or #everykidpass. Social media interaction is one of the ways that the powers that be will be monitoring this program’s success, so this is the perfect time to go social media happy! Come on, we want to see this program continue for many years to come.