Hey fourth graders! Take your family to see America's natural wonders and historic sites this year ... for FREE!
Fourth graders and their families are invited to learn about our heritage, history, and connect with nature while exploring hundreds of national parks, recreation areas, forests, monuments, and wildlife refuges from the St. Louis Arch to the Florida Keys through a free program known as Every Kid Outdoors.
The program, run by the United States National Park Service, was created by President Barack Obama in 2015 -- the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service -- and has been renewed annually every year since. This year the program changed its name from Every Kid in a Park to Every Kid Outdoors.
The bipartisan John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management and Recreation Act, signed into law by President Donald Trump earlier this year, authorized continued funding for Every Kid Outdoors for the next seven years.
All fourth graders, including homeschool equivalents, can complete an adventure diary online to get their free entrance passes. The most current pass is valid through August 31, 2021.
As a fourth-grader with a voucher or pass, the student, and anyone in the vehicle with the child, is admitted for free at sites that charge per vehicle. If visiting a site that charges per person, up to three accompanying adults will be admitted free with a fourth grader with a pass. If the fourth grader and his or her family are riding bikes, up to three accompanying adults are included too. The fourth-grader must be present to use the pass.
The Every Kid Outdoors program is designed to give all families a chance to get out and explore our amazing country. As President Theodore Roosevelt once said:
"There can be nothing in the world more beautiful than the Yosemite, the groves of the giant sequoias and redwoods, the Canyon of the Colorado, the Canyon of the Yellowstone, the Three Tetons; and our people should see to it that they are preserved for their children and their children’s children forever, with their majestic beauty all unmarred."
Kyrie Collins is the publisher of Macaroni Kid Highlands Ranch-Parker-Castle Rock-Lone Tree, Colo.