And so, another school year begins.
There is a wonderful opportunity that we want to be sure it on your radar, if there is a fourth grade student in your family! As of September 1st, all students entering fourth grade have access to their own Every Kid in a Park pass at www.everykidinapark.gov. The “Every Kid in a Park” promotion is offered by the Department of the Interior and the White House, and brings with it tremendous value, providing free access to fee based federal lands for the student as well as the family.
Free entry is not only to all National Parks Service units, but other fee-based federal lands like national forests, national wildlife refuges, and land overseen by the Bureau of Land Management, for example Red Rock Canyon outside of Las Vegas or Chincoteague Island in Virginia. The pass is good for a full year, from the date of issue to Aug 31, 2017.
This pass is nearly identical in benefits to the America the Beautiful pass (which is $80/year) and exists to encourage the entire family to tour our varied publics lands. These passes eliminate the cost of NPS sites like Yellowstone, Zion and Grand Canyon, where entry is between $25 and $30/car. If you visit a site that charges entrance fees per person, the pass admits all children under 16 and up to three adults for free. If your group visits a site that charges vehicle entrance fees, the pass admits all children under 16 and all adults in one passenger vehicle.
At www.everykidinapark.gov, children take a short fun quiz, and the pass is available for printout. The paper pass can later be exchanged at NPS fee sites for a plastic version, based on availability.
We are thrilled that the Department of Interior is nurturing the next generation’s enthusiasm for our protected lands, and as always appreciative of the great value of the annual passes; we bought our America the Beautiful pass in February of this year, and by April it had paid for itself park fees. As of August, six month later, it had essentially tripled its value! And we have more parks on our list for this year…how about you?