New Melones Launches Every Kid in a Park Pass

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Fourth Graders and their Families Eligible for Free Access to Federal Lands and Waters Nationwide like Bureau of Reclamation's New Melones, Lake Berryessa, and American River Water Education Center

Bureau of Reclamation Park Ranger teaches students at New Melones Lake.

Bureau of Reclamation Park Ranger teaches students at New Melones Lake.

New Melones Lake is proud to help launch the Every Kid in a Park program, as part of President Obama’s commitment to protect our nation’s unique outdoor spaces and ensure that every American has the opportunity to visit and enjoy them.

Fourth graders nationwide can now visit the new Every Kid in a Park website to obtain a pass that provides free access to students and their families to all federally managed lands and waters – including national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and marine sanctuaries. The pass is valid for the 2015-2016 school year and grants free entry for fourth graders and three accompanying adults (or an entire car for drive-in parks) at more than 2,000 federally-managed sites.

“Our facilities provide numerous opportunities for the public to enjoy our 6.5 million acres of land and water. The Bureau of Reclamation plays a major role in meeting the increasing public demands for water-based outdoor recreation facilities. Our sites also include important natural and cultural resources and provide unique educational and interpretive opportunities,” said Commissioner Estevan López. “The Every Kid in the Park Initiative is a great way for students to spend time in the great outdoors while developing critical skills and sharing the outdoor experience with their families.”

Leading up to the 100th birthday of the National Park Service in 2016, President Obama launched the Every Kid in a Park initiative earlier this year as a call to action to get all children to experience America’s unparalleled outdoors, rich history and culture. Today, more than 80 percent of American families live in urban areas, and many lack easy access to safe outdoor spaces. At the same time, youth spend more hours than ever in front of screens instead of outside.

Fourth graders can log onto the website at and complete a fun educational activity in order to obtain and print their pass. Students can also trade in their paper pass for a more durable pass at participating federal sites nationwide.

Educators and community leaders can access educational activities, field trip options, and the ability to print passes for their classrooms. Parents visiting the new website can find additional links for more information on planning trips to nearby public lands.

By introducing fourth graders to public lands in their backyards and beyond at an early age, Every Kid in a Park is a crucial component of a multi-pronged approach to inspire the next generation to discover all that our nation’s public lands and waters have to offer, including opportunities to be active, spend time with friends and family, and serve as living classrooms to build critical skills.

The Every Kid in a Park program is an Administration-wide effort administered in partnership with the Department of the Interior, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Education, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The Every Kid in a Park program is designed to continue each year with the then-current group of fourth graders. After twelve years, every school-age child in America will have had an opportunity to visit their public land and waters for free, inspiring the next generation to be stewards of our nation’s shared natural and cultural heritage.

The New Melones Lake Visitor Center is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday. For more information, please call the New Melones Lake Administration Office at 209-536-9094, ext. 0.

In addition to New Melones Lake, Lake Berryessa in Napa, California, and the American River Water Education Center at Folsom Dam are participating in the Every Kid in a Park program. Please contact Lake Berryessa at 707-966-2111, ext. 0, and the American River Water Education Center at 916-989-7132 or 916-989-7100 to learn more.

For more information, please visit, and follow the program on Twitter @everykidinapark, on Facebook, on Instagram and Youtube. For additional information on New Melones Lake, please visit our website and participate in the conversation on Reclamation’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


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Lauren Meredith
Bureau of Reclamation
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