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Free outdoor recreation passes available for fourth graders and families


Portland, Ore. – It's back to school time! And with the start of the new school year, it's also time for all fourth graders and their families to claim their free "Every Kid in a Park" pass, which allows free entry into all federal parks, forests, and recreation areas for a full year.

Starting September 1, fourth graders can print out a paper voucher for free entry into all federal lands by visiting the "Every Kid in a Park" website at Students and their families can also redeem their paper voucher for a plastic pass at any U.S. Forest Service office. The voucher and passes are valid for the entire school year, September 1, 2016 through August 31, 2017.

The Forest Service is partnering with schools and educators across Oregon and Washington to plan "Every Kid in a Park" events in local communities and distribute passes at back-to-school events this fall. For more information on upcoming "Every Kid in a Park" events, contact your local forest.

Teachers or adults who engage fourth-graders through a youth-serving organization can print paper passes, and find activities and lesson plans, at

Today, more than 80 percent of American families live in urban areas, and many lack easy access to safe, outdoor spaces. At the same time, kids are spending more hours than ever in front of screens instead of outside. The "Every Kid in a Park" initiative encourages valuable opportunities to explore, learn, and play in the spectacular places that belong to us all, and aims to inspire future generations to serve as stewards of these places. Research shows that children ages 9 to 11 are at a unique developmental stage in their learning, where they begin to understand how the world around them works in more concrete ways. By targeting fourth graders, the program works to ensure every child in the U.S. has the opportunity to visit and enjoy their public lands by the time he or she is 11 years old. For more information, visit

The Pacific Northwest Region consists of 16 National Forests, 59 District Offices, a National Scenic Area, and a National Grassland comprising 24.7 million acres in Oregon and Washington and employing approximately 3,550 people. To learn more about the U.S. Forest Service in the Pacific Northwest, and to find passes and permits, please visit

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