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Every Kid in a Park

Fourth-graders free at state parks and more

      Autumn’s moderate days invite us to pack up the camping gear and head to a park. If you have a fourth-grade student, your park visit can be free. 

      For the fourth year, fourth-grade children and their families enjoy free admission to national public lands and state parks thanks to a partnership of Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Department of the Interior.

      Federal passes — which are good at 16 national parks, six national natural landmarks, five national wildlife refuges and two federal heritage areas in Maryland — are also good at all 75 state parks.

     “Maryland is strongly committed to connecting, cultivating and nurturing the next generation of environmental advocates, stewards and supporters,” said Maryland Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton. “As living classrooms, our outdoor spaces provide hands-on opportunities to develop critical skills and understanding of our natural world.”

     The goal of the Every Kid in a Park program is to reach kids at an impressionable age — nine to 11 — to ignite curiosity and inspire a love for the great outdoors. Teachers also get resources for planning field trips, including free access for classes and eligibility for federal transportation funding. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources also offers educational resources for teachers.

      The Every Kid in a Park pass covers admission but not amenities and services such as boat rentals, camping or staff-led tours. To print a pass for this year, visit https://everykidinapark.gov/. Passes are valid through Aug. 31, 2019.