4th Graders Can Visit Parks Free For a Year

Get a free annual entry pass to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas, including national parks if you are in the 4th grade in the United States.
Yellowstone Junior Ranger Program. Photo by NPS Jim Peaco

Yellowstone Junior Ranger Program. Photo by NPS Jim Peaco

Free Annual Entry Pass to More than 2,000 Federal Recreation Areas, Including National Parks

Yellowstone National Park invites all 4th grade students to visit the park for free as part of the White House’s new Every Kid in a Park program. Starting September 1 2015, 4th grade students can now go to www.everykidinapark.gov to complete an activity and obtain a free annual entry pass to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas, including national parks. Each student receives a paper pass with a unique code. That pass gives the 4th grader and their familiy free access to all national parks, lands, and waters through August 31, 2016.

The goal of the Every Kid in a Park program is to connect 4th graders with the great outdoors and inspire them to become future environmental stewards, ready to preserve and protect national parks and other public lands for years to come. The program is an important part of the National Park Service’s centennial celebration in 2016, which encourages everyone to Find Your Park.

Every Kid in a Park is a nationwide effort launched by President Obama and supported by eight federal agencies including the National Park Service, the Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Department of Education, US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Forest Service, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Expedition Yellowstone

Fourth grade educators, youth group leaders and their students across the country will also participate in the initiative through field trips and other learning experiences. “Expedition Yellowstone” is a multi-day curriculum-based residential program offered during the school year for 4th through 8th grade students. This popular program has been teaching students about the natural and cultural history of Yellowstone for nearly 30 years. Sessions are four or five days in length, with an emphasis on learning through direct experience in the outdoors.

More Kid Programs

Yellowstone National Park also offers a variety of programs that 4th graders and their families can enjoy at any time of year. The Yellowstone Junior Ranger program is a fun way for kids (and adults!) to learn about the park by attending a ranger-led program, hiking on a park trail or boardwalk, and completing an activity booklet available at park visitor centers. Kids are sworn in as Junior Rangers, and receive a patch for their hard work.

Not everyone can schedule a trip to Yellowstone to help celebrate the centennial of the NPS, so the park also offers fun and educational activities on its website to help kids and their families or classes learn about the plants, animals, and geothermal features of Yellowstone from the comfort of their own home or classroom. A scavenger hunt, wildlife Olympics, coloring pages, and the equation for predicting Old Faithful’s next eruption are all found at www.nps.gov/yell/learn/kidsyouth/parkfun.htm.

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