The amazing power of fourth grade: FREE parks passes

Published Oct. 10, 2017

Is there a fourth grader in your family? Perhaps you have friends or relatives with a fourth grader in their family? If so, the Corps has some great information for you.

Fourth graders have the ability to get something that absolutely no other school-aged child can get: FREE passes to America’s national parks and federal recreation sites!

We know – some things sound too good to be true – but this is so good it really is true. It’s called the Every Kid in a Park pass, or EKIP. To get the EKIP, all fourth graders have to do is go online, sign up and get the pass! Simple as that! But their fourth-grader powers don’t end there. Their EKIP pass gets family members into all of these great parks for free as well!

Once signed up, the EKIP site has fun and easy online tools to help you plan a trip for your family. You could soon find yourselves standing under the biggest trees in the world at Sequoia National Park. Or perhaps you’d prefer looking out over the amazing glacier-carved valley of Yosemite. Death Valley? Joshua Tree? Maybe Redwoods National Park? These and many more await – and that’s just in California! The EKIP pass provides free access to ALL federal parks, and there are more than 2,000 federally managed lands and waters nationwide!

And by the way – fourth grade teachers should check out the EKIP program too! There’s a special section just for educators where you can get passes for your students and download activity guides such as Exploring Federal Lands and Waters; Environmental Stewardship; Our Nation’s Peoples; and Citizen Science.

The following agencies participate in the EKIP program and are definitely worth checking out before planning your EKIP trip! From ocean preserves to rugged mountains – they’ve got you covered.

U.S. Bureau of Land Management

They take care of more than 245 million acres of land – most of it in the western states and Alaska.


U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

They’re responsible for 6.5 million acres of land and water – most of it available to you to explore.


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Interested in visiting the ocean, coastal treasures, sanctuaries and research reserves? This is your site.


National Parks Service

They have hundreds of parks, monuments, island, oceans, volcanoes and more. How can you go wrong?


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Responsible for 150 million acres of land and 418 million acres of national marine monuments.


U.S. Forest Service

Prefer to visit grasslands or forests? The forest service oversees 193 million acres of them.


U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

More than 350 million people visit our parks, rivers and lakes each year. More than any agency here!

You can find links to all of these amazing agencies on the EKIP site:

The EKIP program runs now through August 31, 2018 – so get going!

J. Paul Bruton

Release no. 17-035