You’ve surely been hearing stories about the horrible oil spill along the Gulf Coast (and to follow the oil spill, use USA Today's interactive map).
Many of you probably are wondering what you can do to make a difference. Since so many of us live far away, and for now, it is not safe for kids to help with the clean-up, start thinking locally. All of our natural spaces are important and need to be protected.
Get out to a park. Ask your parents to help you organize a neighborhood litter clean up. Plant a tree or lend a hand at a local garden. Read below to see how other kids are making a difference and then go outside and celebrate the environment.
Seventh Grader Stands Up for Park
Lloyd and his classmates (left) at St. Ignatius Loyola Academy, a Where’s Buddy Bison Been? pilot school, used the National Geographic Mystery books series, set in national parks to enhance their Read Across America program. Lloyd competed in a school-wide essay competition, and he and 12 other kids were awarded one of National Park Trust’s Youth to Parks Scholarships to travel over spring break to For Love of Children’s Outdoor Education Center near Harper’s Ferry National Historical Park.
With that scholarship, he and his classmates were able to spend several days in West Virginia participating in a leadership and environmental education program.
By the time Lloyd and 48 other students from his school joined Buddy Bison for the fortieth anniversary Earth Day event on the National Mall in April, Lloyd had already become inspired to protect the environment in his own community.
In Baltimore, he noticed that the old Warwick Street Park in his neighborhood had become run down and was unusable for play. He talked to his dad and organized a presentation for his local City Council … read more
Remembering Haiti’s Earthquake and Forests
So many of us watched news coverage of Haiti’s earthquake and wondered what we could do to help. Many kids worked with their classmates to raise money to help rebuild. What some people don’t realize is that Haiti’s forests have been in trouble for a long time.
Ninety years ago, well over half of Haiti was covered in forest. Now just 2% of the land is forested. Some third-graders from The Bullis School recently created Buddy Bison Park dioramas, depicting American and Haitian Parks.
Dioramas made by Paris, Rotimi and Preston were showcased at a special presentation to one 16-year-old earthquake survivor named Ruthnie at the Haitian Flag Day event, at the White House Old Executive Office Building.
Paris’s dioramas depicted “Buddy Bison at Rock Creek National Park” and Rotimi’s featured “Buddy Bison at Yellowstone National Park.” Preston’s piece, entitled “Buddy Bison Dreams of a Reforested Haiti,” was presented along with Buddy Bison to Ruthnie by fifth-grader Alexander, who attends National Presbyterian School, another Buddy Bison School.
In his speech, Alexander said, "We only see the devastation on TV," said Alexander, "but there are so many beautiful things about Haiti, too, and I want people to know that." ...read more
President’s Family to Acadia National Park, First Lady Asks YOU to Move Outside
First Lady Michelle Obama recently launched Let’s Move Outside! and is asking kids to do just that—get outdoors and move! You can go to a local park, hike a trail or ride your bike. The Obama family recently took part in all of these outdoor activities themselves on their vacation last week to Acadia National Park.
Tell your parents, the First Lady asked you to get in at least an hour of physical activity a day—so let’s go swimming at a community pool, climb a jungle gym or fly a kite!
Buddy Bison Has a New Ambassador in Michael Walton!
World-class professional track and field athlete, Michael Walton is now taking Buddy Bison along with him as he sprints trails and explores Washington, DC. Through his foundation (the Michael Walton Foundation), Michael helps young people find creative outlets to escape negativity and become leaders in their communities. As Michael shared, “I am thrilled to be an ambassador of Buddy Bison and National Park Trust. So many of our nation's parks provide fun and inventive ways to be active. Getting out to parks creates lasting memories of time spent with the people that we care about most. Get out and experience the many great things that nature has to offer! I know I will!"
More Celebrity Ambassadors: Buddy Bison’s Hits a High Note
Blues legend B.B. King and rock stars Chris Isaak and Bela Fleck (of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones) recently headlined at Washington’s Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts and each took a minute to meet Buddy Bison, who sang them a tune about parks, forests and other outdoor spaces.
Buddy Bison Volunteers in Great Smokey Mountains
Twenty-one volunteers from Potomac United Methodist Church recently visited Cherokee, North Carolina as part of the church’s “Volunteers in Mission” program—and Buddy Bison came along to help out. Cherokee is a small town located in the Great Smokey Mountains between Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Blue Ridge Parkway. The volunteers (ranging in age from 9 - 80!) spent a week repairing homes, landscaping, building a handicap ramp, and creating lasting relationships with members of the Cherokee UM Mission Church community. Then, with Buddy Bison by their side (and riding on shoulders), they hiked Mingo Falls.
Buddy Bison on TV
Buddy Bison was featured on Washington’s, Fox-5 in a summertime segment about fun, FREE, warm weather activities. Buddy Bison (and National Park Trust’s Grace Lee) visited Maryland’s Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens where they discussed ways to make summer memorable. Don’t forget, National Parks are free August 14-15! Find a National Park in your area.
Buddy Bison Haikus… Do you?
Buddy Bison has taken to writing haiku poetry. Can you write a Buddy Bison haiku, too?
Buddy Bison quakes
A mighty roar he does make
Support our parks NOW
Sixth grader Matthew W. from Washington Latin PCS did a great job:
A Buddy Bison
Symbolizes something so
Like Matthew, can you give us your creative best? Please send in your Buddy Bison haiku poetry to firstname.lastname@example.org. (Remember, haiku poetry is written with five syllables in the first line, seven syllables in the second line, and five syllables in the third line. They don’t need to rhyme!)
Finalists will be featured on www.buddybison.org!
Check Out Where
Buddy Bison's Been!
This month, the National Education Association (NEA) featured National Park Trust and Buddy Bison on its website as one of 10 FREE Things for teachers. Check it out!
If you are planning an outdoor outing or want to work together on geography skills, look to NPT’s Parkland Maps, which can guide you through your parkland experience.
Get Your Own Buddy Bison
Hey Parents - Get a Buddy Bison for your children today and help foster a love for nature and our parks. For every Buddy Bison purchased, you help fund NPT's Youth to Parks National Scholarship Fund which provides park opportunities for underserved students.
Kids in the Kitchen
Hey kids, before you head out to the parks, why not make a little trail mix for a snack for your adventure? Check out www.buddybison.org for an All American Park Trail Mix recipe. And if your family has outdoorsy, healthy snack ideas that you’d like to share with other kids, please send them in to email@example.com to be featured on our website.
Buddy Bison wants you to visit, explore and protect our nation’s parks. Bring him along as you roam and tell everyone Where Buddy Bison’s Been!