Every Kid in a Park is a program that aims to put more nature and history in the lives of us all-too-busy humans who may have forgotten the feeling of a breeze in the pines, the splash of the ocean or the benefits of desert solitude.
In partnership with the Federal Land Management agencies, the White House launched the initiative to help engage the next generation of park visitors, supporters and advocates.
All fourth grade students across the country and their families can experience federal public lands and waters – that includes National Parks, historic structures, cultural artifacts, etc. – for free during the 2016-2017 school year. Good until August 31, 2017, the Every Kid in a Park pass is easily accessible from www.everykidinapark.gov.
Fourth graders go online and follow the simple directions and they’ll receive a printable voucher (no electronic ones will be accepted). Homeschoolers are eligible for the program as our teachers.
Passes admits the students along with all accompanying passengers into locations that charge a per-vehicle fee. For locations that charge per person, the pass admits all children under 16 plus three adults to all federal lands and waters.
Here in Southern California that means places like Joshua Tree or Channel Islands National Park, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area along with Mojave National Preserve, to name a few.
The website encourages kids to print out their vouchers and then plan an upcoming trip – what better way to hone those leadership and organizational skills?
Every Kid in a Park is made possible by the National Park Foundation which knows that with cutback in school funding for field trips, programs like these are important connections for students and families alike.
Counter the stress and frazzle of the day with a day, overnight or weekend exploration of public lands that are indeed public. As the saying goes, time spent in nature is never wasted.
** Remember, passes are not valid for state or county parks – just federal entities.