Free National Park Passes for Kids – for 4th graders and family

//Free National Park Passes for Kids – for 4th graders and family

Free National Park Passes for Kids – for 4th graders and family

Young girl enjoys the expansive view of the Grand Canyon

  Taking In The Grand Canyon

 Did you know that if you are lucky enough to have a fourth grader in your family, you are entitled to free park passes to our federal parks for one year? That’s millions of acres of lakes, mountains, and forests, plus historical and cultural sites. They are all waiting for you to explore for free! The program is called Every Kid in A Park and was established in 2015 to create enthusiasm and support for our public lands.

The program is offered to all fourth graders from September 1 until August 31. The pass admits your child, plus all children in your family under 16, and up to 3 adults in your family, to any and all federal parks. That includes National Parks, National Wildlife Refuges, National Forests, National Grasslands, and land managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and the Army Corps of Engineers. That is over 2,000 federal recreational sites!

What I love about this program, besides the word “free,” is its intended result. The program focuses on our fourth graders because studies show that children age 9 to 11 are more open to new ideas. At this age they are starting to learn about the world around them. The goal of the program is to get more children off the couch and outside connecting with nature and our history. (I have had this very same goal for my kids for the last six years! I love this program!)

Currently Funded Programs

To further support this program, The National Park Foundation, the official charity for our national parks, is raising funds through the Open Outdoors for Kids program. This program recognizes the limitations of the under served, including the kids from our inner city schools, to take advantage of our parks. Open Outdoors for Kids helps by providing transportation and creating outdoor educational opportunities. Here are some of the programs currently being funded: https://www.nationalparks.org/sites/default/files/npf-ekip_grantees-2017-2018.pdf

Is your fourth grader obsessed with trains? Amtrak is also on board with a program of its own. When you purchase an adult full price ticket, your fourth grader is entitled to 75% off.

How does the program work?

Just send your child to the web page, https://www.everykidinapark.gov/and have him or her follow the directions. It takes just a few simple steps to receive the pass and to print it out. (Don’t forget to make an extra copy for the parents!)

Entrance Sign Mammoth Caves National Park

  Our Maltipoo Visits Mammoth Cave National Park

When finished printing the pass, your child can plan the next trip. This web site offers links to four different national websites they can then use for exploring and planning.

National Wildlife Refuge System:  https://www.fws.gov/refuges/

Discover the Forest:  https://www.discovertheforest.org/

Find Your Park:  https://findyourpark.com/your-parks

Recreation.gov Explore America:  https://www.recreation.gov/

These are really great sites for getting your kids inspired. I realize that as  fourth graders they cannot really plan your next adventure; but they can take an active part in your planning.  I have found that by including my kids into the planning process, once we get somewhere, they are more interested in the adventure. The idea of a free pass, the ability for them to access it themselves, and then plan the adventure, makes this a well inspired program. I hope enough kids and their parents get the opportunity to take advantage of it.

Did you know that if you are lucky enough to have a fourthgrader in your family, you are entitled to free park passes to our federalparks for one year? That’s millions of acres of lakes, mountains, and forests, plushistorical and cultural sites. They are all waiting for you to explore for free!The program is called Every Kid in A Park and was established in 2015 to createenthusiasm and support for our public lands.

The program is offered to all fourth graders from September 1stuntil August 31. The pass admits your child, plus all children in your familyunder 16, and up to 3 adults in your family, to any and all federal parks. Thatincludes National Parks, National Wildlife Refuges, National Forests, NationalGrasslands, and land managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau ofReclamation, and the Army Corps of Engineers. That is over 2,000 federal recreational sites!

What I love about this program, besides the word “free,” is itsintended result. The program focuses on our fourth graders because studies showthat children age 9 to 11 are more open to new ideas. At this age they arestarting to learn about the world around them. The goal of the program is toget more children off the couch and outside connecting with nature and ourhistory. (I have had this very same goal for my kids for the last six years! Ilove this program!)

To further support this program, The National ParkFoundations, the official charity for our national parks, is raising fundsthrough the Open Outdoors for Kids program. This program recognizes thelimitations of the underserved, including the kids from our inner city schools,to take advantage of our parks. Open Outdoors for Kids helps by providingtransportation and creating outdoor educational opportunities. Here are some ofthe programs currently being funded: https://www.nationalparks.org/sites/default/files/npf-ekip_grantees-2017-2018.pdf

Is your fourth grader obsessed with trains? Amtrak is alsoon board with a program of its own. When you purchase an adult full priceticket, your fourth grader is entitled to 75% off.

How does the program work?

Just send your child to the web page, https://www.everykidinapark.gov/and have him or her follow the directions. It takes just a few simple steps toreceive the pass and to print it out. (Don’t forget to make an extra copy forthe parents!)

When finished printing the pass, your child can plan thenext trip. This web site offers links to four different national websites theycan then use for exploring and planning.

National Wildlife Refuge System:  https://www.fws.gov/refuges/

Discover the Forest:  https://www.discovertheforest.org/

Find Your Park:  https://findyourpark.com/your-parks

Recreation.gov Explore America:  https://www.recreation.gov/

These are really greatsites for getting your kids inspired. I realize that as a fourth grader they cannotreally plan your next adventure; but they can take an active part in yourplanning.  I have found that by includingmy kids into the planning process, once we get somewhere, they are moreinterested in the adventure. The idea of a free pass, the ability for them toaccess it themselves, and then plan the adventure, makes this a well inspiredprogram. I hope enough kids and their parents get the opportunity to takeadvantage of it.

By |2018-07-05T21:19:22+00:00December 10th, 2017|National Parks|0 Comments

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