As part of a new program to increase access to public lands and encourage visits by people of all ages, veterans and fifth graders will get free entry to national parks and wildlife refuges until August 31, 2021. This is also partly to ensure that kids who missed out on the “Every Kid Outdoors Annual 4th Grade Pass” program due to COVID-19 can still visit parks for free.
US Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt said in a statement, “Programming was limited at times for last year’s fourth graders…so we’re allowing this year’s 5th graders free access to our public lands throughout the 2020-2021 academic year. We hope these kids and their families take advantage of the incredible physical and mental benefits of getting outside and visiting a park, refuge or campground near them.”
Vouchers for fifth graders can be printed online at the NPS website, while passes for fourth grade students can be accessed on the Every Kid Outdoors website. Veterans and Gold Star families will also have free access starting on November 11 (Veterans Day). According to Bernhardt, veterans should be able to have easy access to “the iconic and treasured lands they fought to protect.”
Free or discounted passes are also available to those with permanent disabilities, volunteers, and anyone over 62 years old.