Free outdoor recreation passes available for fourth graders and their families

It’s back to school time, and with the start of the new school year it’s also time for all fourth graders and their families to claim their free "Every Kid in a Park" pass, which allows free entry into all federal parks, forests and recreation areas for a full year.

Starting Sept. 1, fourth graders can print out a paper voucher for free entry into all federal lands by visiting the "Every Kid in a Park" website at Students and their families can also redeem their paper voucher for a plastic pass at any Forest Service office. The voucher and passes are valid for the entire school year, Sept. 1, 2016 to Aug. 31, 2017.

Teachers or adults who engage fourth-graders through a youth-serving organization can print paper passes and find activities and lesson plans at

The "Every Kid in a Park" initiative encourages valuable opportunities to explore, learn and play in the spectacular places that belong to us all and aims to inspire future generations to serve as stewards of these places. Research shows that children ages 9-11 are at a unique developmental stage in their learning where they begin to understand how the world around them works in more concrete ways. By targeting fourth graders, the program works to ensure every child in the U.S. has the opportunity to visit and enjoy their public lands by the time he or she is 11. For more information, visit