Fifth-grade students and their families can now enjoy fee-free access to thousands of Forest Service sites across the country, as well as a free permit to cut their own Christmas tree.
The USDA Forest Service has expanded its Every Kid Outdoors program to offer fifth graders vouchers for the 2020-2021 school year. Vouchers are available for download now through Aug. 31, 2021, on the Every Kid Outdoors website. Click on the link in the “Hey, fifth graders!” banner at the top of the page to download a voucher.
Every Kid Outdoors is a federal public lands partnership created to encourage kids and their families to explore, learn and play in America’s great outdoors by giving fourth graders passes to America’s national forests, parks and historic sites. Unfortunately, many of last year’s fourth graders missed the chance to use their vouchers due to the pandemic.
“Here in Northern New Mexico, the national forest is literally in our backyard. By expanding Every Kid Outdoors this year, we hope to give fifth graders and their families another chance at outdoor adventures they may have missed last year,” Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) Supervisor James Melonas said.
Fourth and fifth grade voucher holders can get a free Christmas tree permit online through Recreation.govon the SFNF Christmas tree permit page. Please note that Recreation.gov charges a $2.50 service fee for online Christmas tree permits, including the free Every Kid Outdoor permits.
The Every Kid Outdoors program targets fourth graders so every child in America has the opportunity to visit national forests, parks and historic sites by the age of 11 when research shows they are ready to engage with nature and most likely to develop a lifelong connection to public lands.