One of the items I learned about on my recent visit to the White House is the Every Kid in a Park Initiative. In an effort to get our children outdoors and visiting our National Parks this initiative was born. The way it works is that any 4th grader can visit everykidinapark.gov and print out a pass that will allow them to access all federal sites, including national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and public lands and waters for free.
During the presentation at the White House they mentioned that it was applicable for 4th graders based on research that had been done. I do not know the exact reasoning for it being this age group exactly but regardless, all 4th graders can get their pass and whoever is with them can also enter for free.
Here are some further rules from the Every Kid in a Park website:
- The pass is for U.S. fourth-grade (or home-school equivalent) students.
- The pass is for the 2015 to 2016 school year. It expires August 31, 2016.
- Students can't transfer the pass to anyone else.
- We can’t accept electronic versions of this paper for access or to exchange for a pass.
- There’s no way to request a refund later if you forget the pass when you visit.
- If you lose your pass, get a new one by visiting the website and signing up again.
- Educators can get one paper pass for each of their fourth-grade students.
- This program only provides passes for fourth graders.
How it works
- Show your pass to a ranger when you enter. If there is no ranger, leave it on the dashboard of your car.
- If you visit a site that charges entrance fees per person— The pass admits all children under 16 and up to three adults for free.
- If your group visits a site that charges vehicle fees - The pass admits all children under 16 and all adults in up to one passenger vehicle. Commercial vehicles can't use a pass to get in.
- If you arrive at a site on bicycle— The pass admits all children under 16 and up to three adults on bicycles.
- The pass doesn't cover things like camping, boats, and special tours. Also, some sites are managed by private operators. They may not honor the pass. Check with the site ahead of time to find out.
- The pass doesn’t cover fees for local, city, or state parks and recreation areas unless they say that they accept this pass.
- Paper passes can be exchanged for plastic passes at certain sites.
This initiative runs through August 31st 2016 so don't wait, get your pass now! This is such a great opportunity to visit our National Parks for free. I am not sure if this will be continued after 2016 but I hope so!
Because no matter who you are, no matter where you live, our parks, our monuments, our lands, our waters — these places are your birthright as Americans