Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site encourages all fourth graders to visit the park for free this year as part of the Every Kid in a Park program.

Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site encourages all fourth graders to visit the park for free this year as part of the Every Kid in a Park program. The program gives fourth grade students, and those accompanying them, free access to more than 2,000 federally managed lands and waters. Visit www.everykidinapark.gov to download the necessary pass and obtain more information.

“There’s a world of history to discover at Bent’s Old Fort, and we’re excited to welcome fourth graders and their families throughout the year,” said Chief of Interpretation Rick Wallner. “We hope that our young visitors learn and have fun at the fort while building connections to our country’s heritage.”

Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site (NHS) is open year-round with winter hours from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. A fee of $3 for those ages 13 and older and $2 for those ages 6 to 12 is charged to tour the fort. Those 5 and under and anyone holding an interagency public lands pass, including those with the fourth grade Every Kid in a Park pass, can tour the fort for free. Schools wishing to book class tours should call (719) 383-5026 to make a reservation.

In addition, Bent’s Old Fort was awarded a 2016-17 field trip grant from the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, to support the Every Kid in a Park program. The park will use the grant to reimburse travel costs to the fort for low income and underserved schools (up to $500 per school) and will encourage instructors to teach about the fort in their classrooms before and after the field trip using resources provided by the park. To apply for travel reimbursement for your school, email rick_wallner@nps.gov or download the application form at https://www.nps.gov/beol/learn/education/planafieldtrip.htm and mail it to Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site, 35110 Highway 194 East, La Junta, CO 81050.

The Every Kid in a Park pass is valid for a full calendar year from Sept. 1 to Aug. 31. The pass grants free entry for fourth graders and up to three accompanying adults (or an entire car for drive-in parks) to most federally managed lands and waters, including national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and marine sanctuaries.

The newly expanded Every Kid in a Park website has links to educational activities, trip planning, field trip options, the downloadable pass, and additional information in both English and Spanish. After completing a fun educational activity, the child can download and print a pass. The paper pass can be traded for a more durable pass at participating federal sites nationwide, including Bent’s Old Fort NHS.

The Every Kid in a Park program is an administration-wide effort between the Department of the Interior, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of the Army, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The program continues each year with the then-current group of fourth graders. After 12 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.

For more information, visit www.everykidinapark.gov and follow the program on Twitter @everykidinapark, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. For additional information about Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site, visit www.nps.gov/beol or phone (719) 383-5010.