March 2019 marks the launch of a pilot project called Check Out Washington at four Washington public libraries. With Check Out Washington, library users can check out a backpack kit that includes a Discover Pass for free access to Washington state’s recreational parks and lands for up to a week. The project’s goal is to encourage new users to go outdoors to enjoy the natural and cultural riches of Washington’s public lands.
In addition to a Discover Pass, each backpack available through Check Out Washington contains a pair of binoculars, along with printed nature and animal guides. Library users who check out the backpacks will be asked to provide information for a survey to help evaluate the program.
The four pilot libraries where Discover Passes are available are the Mount Vernon City Library, the Pierce County Library System, the Spokane Public Library, and the Spokane County Library District. If the pilot phase is successful, Check Out Washington could expand to other Washington libraries in future years.