Fourth graders can get free BLM park passes

Playing at Wild Rivers. (Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)

Calling all fourth graders to America’s public lands! Last year, to help engage and create the next generation of public land visitors, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) participated in the Every Kid in a Park program in partnership with other federal land management agencies. It was a big success and is continuing in its second year! The program’s goal is a broad one: to provide an opportunity for each and every fourth grade student across the country to experience their federal public lands and waters in person.

If you are in the fourth grade (or home-school/free choice equivalent and 9 to 11 years old), you can participate in a fun online activity (www.everykidinapark.gov) and receive a voucher for a free fourth-grade pass. Print out the pass and take it with you to national parks, forests, monuments, and historic sites across the United States for free entrance admission. The pass is good for your entire fourth grade year – from September 1 through August 31.  Come to the BLM office in Taos located at 226 Cruz Alta Road, Taos, NM 87571, if you want to exchange your paper pass for a hard-plastic, keepsake version!

There are many places in Taos where you can use this annual pass, like the Rio Chama Wild and Scenic River, Orilla Verde Recreation Area, Wild Rivers Recreation Areas, and Santa Cruz Lake.

By introducing fourth graders to public lands in their backyards and beyond at an early age, the innovative Every Kid in a Park program delivers a nationwide call to action to build the next generation of outdoor stewards of America’s spectacular and diverse federal lands and waters. Connecting the nation’s youth to the great outdoors is even more important at a time when 80 percent of American families live in cities. A goal of this annual program is to inspire successive generations to become responsible stewards of our nation’s natural and cultural heritage.

Contact the Taos Office at 575-758-8851 for more information or Zach Stone, Public Affairs Specialist at 505-564-7677 or zstone@blm.gov for questions about the Every Kid in a Park program.