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Fourth-Graders: Get into Your Park

Posted by Anna Roth at Jun 06, 2017 02:34 PM |

Now in its third year, the Every Kid in a Park program continues to introduce children to America's public lands, encourage them to connect with nature and discover the magic of being outdoors.

For two years, the Every Kid in a Park program has been helping fourth graders and their families connect with trails, wildlife, resources, and history on federal public lands for free.

20954292019_472389c2e5_z.jpgPhoto courtesy Bureau of Land Management (BLM)

The initiative is still going on, and some organizations have folded the program into their curriculum. Classes are using the Every Kid in a Park initiative to emphasize that public lands are for anyone to use, and introduce kids to the wonder of being outside.

As Charles Beall, Superintendent of Seattle Area National Park sites said to an Orca K-8 class at Seward Park recently:  

"The Parks are your inheritance. Your legacy. This pass is one small way to connect you to these special places. Because you are a fourth grader you get a pass. No matter who you are, if you live here, the parks are yours and you can bring who you want.” (from

Many other organizations offer resources to make your pass go the extra mile, so be sure to check those out, too. Passes issued this year are good until August. In September, passes for the next year of fourth graders will be available.

Learning the basics about being a responsible steward. Photo courtesy Bureau of Land Management (BLM)

Get out there

Washington has an abundance of trail and hiking opportunities that cross all kinds of public lands, from city parks to county parks, from state lands to federal lands. Different lands have different goals, and knowing what land you are on helps you know a lot more about the place, including what the basic rules and permits for hiking it are.

The Every Kid in a Park pass is valid on Washington's federal lands, the majority of which are National Forest and National Park lands. Other federal land managers are the Department of Fish & Wildlife and the Bureau of Land Management.

Looking for somewhere to go now that you have your pass? Use our family resources, sign up for Families Go Hiking newsletter or search the Hiking Guide for family-friendly trails.

We've also highlighted good trails to visit with your pass in our first blogs about the program. Got a science-minded kid? Maybe a history buff? Your pass could take you to any of these locations, too.