Talking Points

  • All fourth graders in California can now get a free California State Parks Adventure Pass that will give them the opportunity to explore 54 select state parks free for a year. This pass is valid for the one-year period during which the child is a fourth grader or fourth grade equivalent, from September 1 to August 31 of that year. For full terms and conditions, click here.

  • This program is being launched by California State Parks, First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom and the California Natural Resources Agency.
  • Assembly Bill 148, signed by Governor Newsom in July 2021, established the California State Park Adventure Pass Program, a three-year pilot program that waives day-use entrance fees to 19 state parks for fourth graders and their families for a full year. The governor also signed Senate Bill 129, legislation that includes $5.6 million to fund the new Pass program. 
  • As a fourth grader who lives in California, you can get this pass, but your parent or guardian will need to help you. Getting a free pass online is simple. All that is needed is a name, address, phone number and an email. For individuals that do not have access to a smartphone, computer or printer and/or do not have an email address to use when applying online, they can still apply for a pass by visiting a State Parks Pass Sales Office—click here for a list of locations—or calling (800) 444-7275. For detailed information on the program, please visit
  • When determining which park units would be selected to participate in the pilot program, State Parks reviewed several factors including a diverse list of park units that span the state geographically. By spreading the park units throughout the state, the department will be able to maximize participation by limiting the distance that would need to be traveled to the nearest participating park. State Parks was also mindful of including a diverse collection of park units in terms of park features. The final list includes beaches, museums, redwoods, off-highway vehicle recreation, hiking trails and important cultural history.
  • According to a recent report from the Center for American Progress, 70% of low-income communities across the country live in nature-deprived areas. Studies from the Children and Nature Organization indicate that access to parks and green space can lead to improvements in children’s physical well-being, social emotional learning and academic outcomes, with children experiencing reduced stress and demonstrating more enthusiasm for school. One study found that every $1 invested in trails for physical activity led to $2.94 in direct medical benefit. 
  • The California Natural Resources Agency and California State Parks are prioritizing efforts to expand all Californians’ access to park, open space, nature and cultural amenities. This priority requires reshaping funding and programs to expand opportunities to enjoy these places. Doing so advances Governor Gavin Newsom’s strong personal commitment to building a “California for All.” 
  • California State Parks are your parks and your public lands so take advantage of this wonderful new, free program and start exploring now with your friends and family.