The great outdoors make a great classroom. New program aims to prove that by encouraging discovery through free access.
The Every Kid Outdoors annual pass provides fourth-grade students, along with their families, friends and classmates, free access to Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, along with more than 2,000 other federal recreation areas for a year. The Every Kid Outdoors Program encourages fourth graders to explore, learn, and recreate in spectacular settings, including national parks, wildlife refuges, marine sanctuaries, and forests.
“There is so much to discover at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site,” said Chief of Interpretation Aaron Ochoa. “Visits on class trips or family vacations to explore the fascinating history and roots of our community will provide lifelong memories.”
The National Park Foundation, the official nonprofit partner of the National Park Service, is expanding the impact of the Every Kid Outdoors initiative through its Open Outdoors for Kids program connecting 4th grade students to Fort Vancouver National Historic Site with funding support for field trips this year.
To obtain the free pass, fourth-grade students visit the Every Kid Outdoors website, participate in a short educational activity, and download a voucher. The voucher is valid for multiple use between September 1, 2019 and August 31, 2020, to correspond to the traditional school year. The voucher may be exchanged for a plastic keepsake pass at participating federal lands. At Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, plastic passes can be obtained at the Visitor Center and at the reconstructed fort.
The voucher or pass grants free entry for fourth graders, all children under 16 in the group and up to three accompanying adults (or an entire car for drive-in parks) to most federally managed lands and waters. The pass does not cover expanded amenity fees such as camping or boat rides.
Fourth-grade educators are encouraged to take advantage of the wide range of educational programs and tools associated with the Every Kid Outdoors program. Educational activities, field trip options, information and tools in English and Spanish, and the ability to print vouchers for passes for students are all available on the website.
The Every Kid Outdoors Program was established by Congress in 2019. It replaces the Every Kid in a Park Program which was launched in 2015. It is an interagency collaboration between the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and U.S. Forest Service.