Got a 4th-grader in your family? Like parks? You’re going to love this.
Beginning Sept. 1 every year, the Every Kid in a Park program gives fourth-graders free passes to national parks, monuments, forests and other federally managed lands. And there are hundreds to choose from.
But, the pass isn’t just for the 4th grader in your family.
The pass is good for ALL the children in your family and up to three adults. Oh, and did we mention it’s good for an entire year?
The only catch? The fourth grader (or the home-school equivalent) has to be present when you visit.
How do we get this deal?
To get in on this offer, all you have to do is answer a few questions about your kids’ interests in events related to the great outdoors at this website: everykidinapark.gov.
Why 4th graders?
Marta Call, spokeswoman for Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, says the reason the program is aimed at kids ages 9 to 11 (your precious 4th graders), is that they are receptive to new ideas and more likely to have good attitudes.
Grab their attention now because some day those wide-eyed kids will be adults.
“It’s a great age group,” Call said. “If we can teach kids that age to respect public lands and show them how cool nature is, it can buy dividends in another 10 to 20 years.”
Devote a little time
Before you click, just know this shouldn’t be a rushed experience, or one you do late at night after your 4th grader is fast asleep. Nope, your 4th grader should be the one behind the mouse clicks when you visit everykidinapark.gov.
Your kiddo gets to create a virtual diary, enter their zipcode and print out the pass that pops up on the resulting page. And the that page reminds you to come back to plan your trip to see animals, visit the woods, go to a park, or find a place to play.
We think Every Kid in a Park is a pretty neat idea. Good thing the pass includes big kids, too!