Many people ventured out after the Thanksgiving holiday in search of the perfect, real Christmas tree. The pine trees have always been a rather cherished emblem of the holiday season, however, something is taken away from the magic when you ask your children to help you pull it from the attic.
One of the best memories many kids have about the holidays is going out each year to find a tree. The problem is that getting one from a tree lot can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be that way, especially if you have a fourth grader in the family.
Every kid is free
Every Kid in a Park is a program offered to all fourth-grade students throughout the United States allowing them free entrance into units of the national park service including national parks such as Yellowstone, Yosemite and the Grand Canyon for free. This White House initiative hopes to grow children’s passion for the outdoors.
If a fourth-grader would like to receive a voucher for the free park pass, all they need to do is log into the Every Kid in a Park website. Once logged into the website, follow instructions and print out a paper voucher. The best part is the pass not only allows the fourth-grader into the parks but also his or her entire family for free.
As part of the initiative, National Forests in many areas are waiving the fee to cut down a Christmas tree for any family who has a fourth-grader with the pass.
The following national forests are some of those offering the Every Kid in a Park free Christmas Tree Program:
• Kaibab National Forest
• Six Rivers National Forest
• Sequoia National Forest
• White River National Forest
• Ocala National Forest
• Panhandle National Forest
• Huron-Manistee National Forest
• Flathead National Forest
• Carson National Forest
• Lincoln National Forrest
• Santa Fe National Forest
• Deschutes National Forest
• Ochoco National Forest
• Green Mountain National Forest
• Colville National Forest
• Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest
• Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
• Bridger-Teton National Forest
The above list is not exhaustive and there may be other national forest locations throughout the U.S. offering the free tree program. If the national forest near you usually offers a permit for cutting down Christmas tree, there is a good chance that they are participating in the free Xmas tree program. If you are wondering whether a national forest near you is participating in this program, give your local Ranger’s office a phone call and they will be able to provide you with any information you may need. It’s important to note that even with Every Kid in a Park program voucher, you will still need to go to get a permit from the national forest to cut down the tree even if it’s not going to cost you anything.
Going out, baring the cold, and making memories will be worth every shiver, and, if you have a fourth grader, you can get those memories at no cost to you. If you don’t have a fourth grader in the family, you still should consider your local national forest as an option for getting your tree. Cutting permits are usually less than $10 (much less expensive that a comparable tree from a tree lot) and the money goes to help fund the natural resources around you.
If you are aware of other national forests which are also offering free Xmas trees to fourth-grade students as part of the Every Kid in a Park program, please leave a comment so we can add it to our list.