Got a fourth grader? Get them in a park

Because I was so distracted by the first day of school and it’s ensuing dramas, I kind of forgot something important. Yesterday, September 1st, marked the opening of the Every Kid in a Park initiative. Every fourth grader in the country is eligible for a free pass to all federal parks and waters. These passes will cover not only the child’s entrance fee, but for parks like Acadia National Park that charge per vehicle, it will cover anyone in the vehicle with the fourth grader. For parks that charge per person, it will cover up to three adults with the child. The pass is good through August 31, 2016, at which point the next round of fourth graders will qualify.

If you have a fourth grader in your family, you absolutely must take advantage of this opportunity. If you are an educator or work with kids in an official capacity (youth group leaders, religious group leaders, afterschool programs, etc.), you can help the fourth graders in your programs get their passes. Visit the website Every Kid in a Park to get started.

Do it for your kids. Do it for your family. Do it for me, since I only have a second grader and I’ll just keep paying for my passes like a chump for two years.

Just do it.

echo lake

View from the top of Beech Cliff Trail in Acadia National Park, a perfectly fourth-grader-appropriate hike that we took this past weekend.

Cherie Galyean

About Cherie Galyean

In a perfect world, Cherie Galyean would spend hours every day chasing her kids up hiking trails, pretending to garden, and baking things. Instead, she works full-time in the non-profit sector and fits those other things in-between loads of laundry in her free time. A Maine native with multiple hometowns, she currently lives on Mount Desert Island with her husband, seven-year-old daughter, five-year-old son, and the best shelter mutt in the world.