News Releases

Army Corps of Engineers supports new “Every Kid in a Park” recreation initiative

Published Sept. 2, 2015
PORTLAND, Ore.  – President Obama, with the support of the Federal Interagency Council on Outdoor Recreation announced the start of a new initiative Sept. 1 to give every child in the United States the chance to explore and learn about America’s great outdoors – the initiative will provide all fourth grade students and their families with free admission for a full year to more than 2,000 federally-managed sites nationwide. 

Fourth graders can visit the “Get Your Pass” section of the Every Kid in a Park website at  and complete a fun educational activity to obtain and print a personalized voucher for unlimited use at federal lands and waters for one year. Passes are valid from Sept. 1, 2015 through Aug. 31, 2016. The paper voucher can be exchanged for a more durable interagency annual fourth grade pass at certain federal sites. The Every Kid in a Park website also provides information on tips for trip planning and how parents and educators can get involved.

A primary goal of the Every Kid in a Park initiative is to bridge the growing disconnect between the next generation and the great outdoors, and to inspire children to become future stewards of our nation’s natural and historic treasures.

"The Every Kid in the Park initiative will connect kids to their local parks, so they can continue to take advantage of all that our outdoors has to offer,” said Honorable Jo-Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works. “Millions of children visit Army Corps of Engineers parks with their families and classrooms each year, and this initiative will help introduce millions more to the joys of recreation, education and our nation's water resources." 

“Many of our recreation areas offer great educational as well as recreational learning experiences for kids and their families,” said Patti Williams, chief of Portland District’s Natural Resources Management Section.  “We have a list of opportunities for families as well as for educators wanting to conduct an outdoor classroom at one of our facilities.  If you’re looking for some fun ways to get your kids outdoors, we’ll get you connected.”

A variety of fun opportunities to get fourth graders outside are available at Portland District’s recreation areas around Oregon and southwest Washington.  At Bonneville Lock and Dam, they can visit a kid-sized house to learn about energy efficiency, view salmon and other fish through viewing windows and in fish ladders at two visitor centers, or can hunt for geocaches hidden around the dam. 

At The Dalles Lock and Dam, they can tour the powerhouse to learn about hydropower operations, participate in interactive displays in the visitor center or view bald eagles in January who use Westrick Park as a resting place during their winter migration. 

In the Willamette Valley, the Row River trail winds along Cottage Grove Lake and offers kids of all ages a fun walk or bike ride year-round. 
In southern Oregon, at Lost Creek Lake or along the Rogue River, children can see an array of wildlife along hiking trails and learn about natural resources  through fun water-based activities.  For more information about these opportunities and even more chances for fun for fourth graders, visit

The Army Corps of Engineers is the nation’s largest federal provider of outdoor and water-based recreation, managing more than 400 lake and river projects in 43 states. To find the closest Corps of Engineers recreation site near you, visit

For more on Every Kid in a Park follow on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube:
Twitter:  or @EveryKidinaPark

Michelle Helms

Release no. 15-034

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