ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST (CBSLA) — The popular “Every Kid Outdoors” program that grants fourth-graders free admission to national parks and forests has been expanded after the pandemic shut down access last spring.

The program typically gives fourth-grade students and their families fee-free access to more than 2,000 national forests, parks and grasslands across the country. But many families canceled trips and vacations and many national parks closed when COVID-19 struck in the spring.

“This year’s events have made it harder for many students to get out to their local National Forest and use their Every Kid Outdoors Annual 4th Grade Pass as intended,” Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen said in a statement. “We hope 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.”

The passes can be used to visit Southern California’s national forests and parks like the Angeles National Forest, the Cleveland National Forest, the San Bernardino National Forest, and Joshua Tree National Park.

To get a free 5th Grade voucher, go to the Every Kid Outdoors website and click on “Hey, fifth graders!” at the top. The vouchers grant free entry for the student and every passenger accompanying the student in one vehicle, and are valid through Aug. 31, 2021.

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