A program that has been in place for kids throughout the country including Montana has been expanded.

Fourth-graders who were not able to benefit this year can now be fifth-graders and still enjoy the opportunities. The USDA Forest Service announced it will expand its Every Kid Outdoors program to offer fourth- and fifth-grade students and family members fee-free access to more than 2,000 sites on national forests and grasslands for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year. A new voucher is available for download now through August 31, 2021.

The year’s events have made it pretty tough for many students to get out to their local National Forest and to use their Every Kid Outdoors Annual 4th Grade Pass as intended.  Hopefully the added time will encourage millions of families to use their free pass to get out to their National Forest, connect with nature, and experience the mental and physical benefits of the great outdoors.

Every Kid Outdoors is a federal public lands partnership created to inspire fourth-grade students and their families across America to recreate, explore cultures, discover connections to nature and spark a lifelong passion for America’s great outdoors. The program focuses on children ages 9–11 who, research shows, are beginning to understand the world around them, and are uniquely receptive to engaging with nature and the environment. By focusing on this age group year after year, the program aims to ensure every child in the United States has the opportunity to create a life-long connection to America’s big backyard.

To obtain a free 5th Grade Voucher, visit the Every Kid Outdoors website, click on the “Hey, fifth graders!” banner, and download a voucher. The voucher is valid now through August 31, 2021.