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Mount Vernon library to check out Discover Passes

February 15, 2019
Washington libraries are teaming up with Washington State Parks to offer Discover Passes to be checked out.

MOUNT VERNON — The Mount Vernon City Library is set to make it easier to get outdoors by offering Discover Passes for check-out.

This spring, Check Out Washington, a partnership between the State Library and Washington State Parks, will launch a pilot program that will make family Discover Passes available through a select number of public libraries, including the Mount Vernon library.

“The state has been working on this pilot program for about two years,” said Mount Vernon City Library Director Isaac Huffman. “We expressed interest in being one of those pilot programs back then and were the first alternate. We got selected this past December to be a part of it.”

Discover Passes allow for vehicle access to state parks and on lands managed by the state Department of Natural Resources.

The official rollout for the program at the Mount Vernon library will be March 1, and at 6:30 p.m. on March 28 the library will host guidebook author Craig Romano, who will reveal his favorite hikes in the area.

The library will have 10 passes available for check-out.

“We are still figuring out the logistics of it a little bit,” Huffman added. “But anyone with a library card will be able to check out a pass for one week. Just like books, if they are not returned on time or lost, there will be fines and replacement fees.”

Library patrons will also be able to reserve Discover Passes as well as get on waiting lists.

“It’s great if you are new to the area and just want to go check things out, to try and figure out if this is your jam or not,” Huffman said. “It’s all about convenience. Do I want to really purchase a Discover Pass? Will I need a pass to go to that park? Now you can cover all your bases.”

Normally, Discover Passes are associated with the people who buy them, meaning they are tied to certain vehicles by way of license plate numbers.

The Check Out Washington passes are being made available as multi-vehicle family passes, so no license plate numbers are required, and folks can use rentals or Zipcars to access trailheads.

Offering the passes may just be the first step in the program for the Mount Vernon library.

“Eventually, we would like to have some sort of ongoing hike review or exchange where people can come and share their experiences,” Public Services Librarian Laura Schumacher said.

In addition to the passes, the library will also loan out two backpack kits that contains binoculars, field guides and other interpretive materials.

“We will have two of these backpacks here at the Mount Vernon library,” Schumacher said. “We are in the process of putting those together. Inside, we’ll have guides to the area’s flora and fauna. We have to also have maps of all the local state parks.”