WASHINGTON — Following a request from U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) last month, the U.S. Department of the Interior has agreed to extend the 2019-2020 Every Kid Outdoors pass into the 2020-2021 school year given the hurdles the pandemic has presented for students and families to accessing America’s public lands, waters, and historic sites.
"Expanding opportunities in our parks and public lands has to be a part of our national recovery. These are the places where all of us belong. These lands are our lands, and they heal us in a way few things can,” said Senator Heinrich. “Especially for kids, our public lands are outdoor classrooms with endless opportunities to learn and can inspire a lifelong connection to conservation. I'm pleased the Department of the Interior heeded our call to grant this extension. By extending the Every Kid Outdoors pass into the next year, millions of students and their families can continue to enjoy America's public lands for free and we can help the outdoor recreation economy recover from the pandemic."
"The Trump Administration signed an order granting fifth graders and their families free entrance to all federal lands and waters, including national parks – more than 2,000 sites in all. This is great news because it will allow students who were not able to take advantage of the Every Kid Outdoors Annual Fourth Grade Pass because of COVID-19 to do so this academic year. The Every Kid Outdoors Act, which I helped introduce in the U.S. Senate and President Trump signed into law, is aimed at encouraging kids to get outdoors and experience America’s public spaces, while engaging in healthy activity and educational programs," said Senator Alexander.
Senators Heinrich and Alexander’s bipartisan legislation, the Every Kid Outdoors Act, was signed into law last year as part of the broader John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act. The Every Kid Outdoors Act provides America's fourth graders and their families free entrance to America's public lands, waters, and historic sites, including national parks – more than 2,000 sites in all.