Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

park pass library card

How you can use your library card to enjoy Washington’s great outdoors

Check Out Washington loans out packs with a park pass, binoculars and more.

The Check Out Washington program, which lends outdoor adventure packs to library-card holders, include a Discover Pass (normally $30 a year), which provides free parking at Washington state parks, plus laminated pocket guides to our state’s trees, wildlife and birds — and a good set of binoculars to see them with.

Another expansion of the program in spring 2023 means there are now a total of 500 adventure packs available statewide.

In the Seattle area, the King County Library System now has almost 200 of them.

The packs are meant as an introduction to Washington’s great outdoors.

[ Read also: 2023 Free Days at state parks || 11 state parks we love year-round ]

“This program helps remove access barriers to state lands and provides any resident with an opportunity to experience these public treasures,” said Ann Flannigan of Washington State Employees Credit Union, the new sponsor.

The expansion triples the capacity of the Check Out Washington program, prioritizing locations where it is needed most. Officials identified rural and urban libraries to receive the adventure packs, prioritizing libraries that serve diverse communities experiencing environmental health disparities. Here’s a full list of libraries in the program. Contact your nearest library to find out how to borrow an Adventure Pack for your family. They are loaned out for a week at a time.

Check Out Washington launched in 2019, linking library cards and park passes.

A couple more cool tidbits about the expansion: The adventure packs are made in-state by eqpd gear, a Twisp-based sustainable bag manufacturer; and the binoculars were sourced by Washington-based Glazer’s Camera.

Also available: Passes to a handful of great local museums and other attractions. Here’s how that works:

Find more outdoor fun in Seattle’s Child

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Originally published June 2022

About the Author

Julie Hanson

Julie Hanson is a longtime journalist, South King County resident and mom to a 15-year-old girl.