As part of the Open OutDoors for Kids initiative, the NPF wants to connect kids with the wonders of our national parks and the natural world through the Every Kid in a Park program. Open OutDoors for Kids believes national parks are the perfect place for kids to learn and self-discover the wonders of nature. As part of the initiative, they will be giving out a free national park pass to every child in the fourth grade for the 2015 – 2016 academic year.
There are a lot of positives to getting kids into nature. Research shows children who regularly spend time outdoors have better health and get better grades in school than those who don’t. Children who have the opportunity to learn outdoors in a hands-on environment are better at and enjoy science more than kids who don’t.
With this in mind, the NPF sees the millions of acres of national park land as a perfect place to help kids enjoy and discover nature. In targeting children, they also hope to instill the wonders of the national parks system so the next generation will become avid park visitors.
The fourth grader park pass will give the student and their family no cost access to national parks, national forests, national monuments, national recreation areas, and more. The pass is called “Every Kid in a Park” pass. To be eligible for the free pass, the student must be a fourth grader for the 2015 – 2016 academic school year. The sign up for the free pass will take place after summer at the beginning of the new school year, but you can register to be reminded when the pass becomes available.
The Every Kid in a Park initiative is supported by a wide range of government entities, including the National Park Service, the US Forest Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of Education, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the Bureau of Land Management.