About Every Kid Outdoors:
The Every Kid Outdoors program allows all 4th graders and their families to experience the places that are home to our country’s natural treasures, rich history, and vibrant culture.
Every year, beginning September 1, all kids in the fourth grade have access to their own Every Kid Outdoors pass, which provides free access to national parks across the country. The Every Kid Outdoors pass is good for the 4th grade school year, until August 31.
Participating agencies include: U.S. Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
In 2015, the Every Kid in a Park program was established to welcome a new generation of kids into the outdoors by providing 4th graders with a free entry pass to national parks and federal public lands and waters. In the first two years of the program, more than 2 million kids downloaded the pass and over $5 million in private investments were leveraged to support transportation and other costs for low-income kids.
The program was very popular, but the Trump administration threatened to eliminate the program. The Outdoors Alliance for Kids (OAK) led efforts to successfully save the program.
OAK worked with Congress to introduce and pass the Every Kid Outdoors Act of 2019, which changed the program’s name from Every Kid in a Park to Every Kid Outdoors and authorized the program for seven years.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many fourth graders and their families were unable to take advantage of the program because of stay-at-home orders and park closures. OAK successfully pushed the Department of the Interior to extend the 2019 – 2020 Every Kid Outdoors pass into 2020 – 2021.
OAK is working with Congress to push for full funding for the Every Kid Outdoors program. The $25 million in funding would would help more than one million children each year visit our national parks, launch targeted programs for underserved communities and children with disabilities, and provide transportation for kids and families that otherwise wouldn’t be able to reach the parks.
Every Kid Outdoors in State Parks
For every national park, there are hundreds of close-to-home state parks and beaches with entrance fees. A handful of states have already adopted the pass for use in their state park systems or have created their own pass, but over 35 states have entrance fees and do not accept the pass. This means a fourth grader in Pueblo, Colorado, one of the lowest-income cities in the nation, would have to travel an hour and a half to use their EKO pass at the nearest national park, but would have to pay to get into Lake Pueblo State Park, just outside of town.
OAK believes every child should be able to access America’s incredible, unparalleled network of national, state, local, and regional parks, regardless of their ability to pay. That’s why we’re launching the Every Kid Outdoors in State Parks campaign.
How You Can Help
- Sign this pledge to receive an action toolkit and find out how you can get involved in the Every Kid Outdoors in State Parks campaign!