The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) announced today it will continue its support of President Obama's initiative Every Kid in a Park pass program, which officially begins its second year today. Launched last year, the initiative gives fourth grade students and their families free access to federal lands and waters as well as some state parks for a full school year.

Fourth graders can visit the Every Kid in a Park website at www.everykidinapark.gov and complete a fun educational activity to obtain and print their pass. Students can trade in their paper pass for a more durable pass at participating federal sites nationwide listed on the website. The pass grants free entry for fourth graders and up to three accompanying adults or an entire non-commercial vehicle for drive-in parks at more than 2,000 federal sites nationwide. The pass features a new design this year and is valid from Sept. 1, 2016 through Aug. 31, 2017.

Last year, USACE hosted about 7,000 fourth graders and their families at lakes and rivers across the country. Nearly 250 USACE sites are participating in the Every Kid in a Park program and provide an opportunity for students to enjoy the great outdoors and learn about the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) that goes into managing our nation's waterways. Last year, USACE also received 8 transportation grants, which allowed schools to take nearly 2,500 students on field trips to USACE sites.

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 connects kids to their local parks, and has been so successful in making sure kids take advantage of all that our outdoors have to offer. Millions of children visit Army Corps of Engineers parks with their families and classrooms each year, and this initiative helps introduce millions more to the joys of recreation, education and our nation's water resources," said Honorable Jo-Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works.

USACE is among the nation's leading federal providers of outdoor recreation with more than 5,000 recreation sites at 403 USACE lakes and river projects located in 43 states. To find the USACE recreation site near you, visit www.CorpsLakes.us.