The USDA Forest Service today announced it will expand its Every Kid Outdoors program to offer fourth- and fifth-grade students and family members fee-free access to more than 2,000 sites on national forests and grasslands for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year. A new voucher is available for download now through August 31, 2021.
Every Kid Outdoors is a federal public lands partnership created to inspire fourth-grade students and their families across America to recreate, explore cultures, discover connections to nature and spark a lifelong passion for America’s great outdoors. The program focuses on children ages 9–11 who, research shows, are beginning to understand the world around them, and are uniquely receptive to engaging with nature and the environment. By focusing on this age group year after year, the program aims to ensure every child in the United States has the opportunity to create a life-long connection to America’s big backyard.
With the voucher, students and their families can visit any of the 18 National Forests located in California and use it to fee-waived activities and/or visit fee-waived recreation areas. The Forest Service hopes the announcement will encourage millions of families to use their free pass to visit the forest and experience the mental and physical benefits of the great outdoors.
Eligible families are encouraged to check with their local National Forest when planning your visit for any questions or concerns. Links to individual National Forests can be found here.
To obtain a free 5th Grade Voucher, visit our Every Kid Outdoors webpage, click on “Get Your Pass”, and download a voucher. The voucher is valid between Nov. 12, 2020, and Aug. 31, 2021 to correspond to the traditional school year.
The Forest Service manages 18 National Forests in the Pacific Southwest Region, which encompasses over 20 million acres across California, and assists State and Private forest landowners in California, Hawaii and the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands. National forests supply 50 percent of the water in California and form the watershed of most major aqueducts and more than 2,400 reservoirs throughout the state. For more information, visit www.fs.usda.gov/R5.