Fourth-grade students and their families can get a free pass to all national parks and waters for a year through the Department of the Interior’s ‘Every Kid in a Park’ program.
“We chose fourth-graders because research shows that kids ages nine to 11 are beginning to learn about the world around them. They’re open to new ideas, and they are likely to connect to nature and our history,” reads an explanation on the program’s website.
To get the pass, all fourth-graders need to do is go to everykidinapark.gov and complete a quick activity. When they’re finished, they can print out their pass. The pass provides free access to all national parks and waters for the fourth-grader, any family members under 16, and up to three adults.
Each pass has a unique code and cannot be shared with other children — they must print their own. Teachers can print out up to 50 passes for their classroom.
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The pass does not cover things like parking fees, tours, camping, boat rentals or other extras, but for those who want to travel to some more distant parks, Amtrak is offering a 70 percent discount on tickets for fourth graders with the purchase of an adult ticket.
To find national park sites near you, you can use the tool at www.nps.gov/findapark.
Scott Berson: 706-571-8578, @ScottBersonLE