Our youth programs have been selected as a National Park Service Centennial Challenge Project. Every dollar that we raise up to $450,000 will be matched to help us get under-served kids to parks. Donate now! Photo courtesy of NPS.
Kids to Parks Day National School Contest is now open! Teachers, start planning your park trips and send us your students' contest entries by March 4th. Learn more.
In partnership with NIPSCO, NPT has acquired 30 acres of land surrounding the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Visitor Center. The land will be donated to NPS this winter. Read More.
In partnership with Trust for Public Land, NPT has helped acquire Ackerson Meadow, a 400-acre, privately owned property surrounded by Yosemite National Park & Stanislaus National Forest.
Buddy Bison's Buzz -April 2013
Cherry Blossom Festival, Washington, D.C.
Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge ,VA
Rock Creek Park, Washington, D.C.
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YAHOO—the cherry blossoms sprouted!
They are always spectacular at Washington D.C.’s Jefferson Memorial. As you can see, this year I enjoyed nestling in them. I bet it’s just as beautiful in your local parks too. Remember to take me along as you explore your parks. This month is also Earth Day, National Park Week, and Let’s G.O. month! Send me your stories and pictures, so I can share them with kids across the country.
Big Buddy Bison greets Lynbrook students before they depart on their Jamestown adventure.
Students testing out the strength of colonial knots.
Seventy fifth-grade students from Lynbrook Elementary (VA) traveled back in time to visit the first English colony in the United States. Founded in 1607, the Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown bring history alive!
The students experienced how original settlers lived by hiking colonial trails, skinning and tanning furs, and learning how to be a sailor. With the smell of gun powder in the air and blacksmiths hammering iron rods, I sometimes forgot what year it was!
Dina a fourth-grader described her visit: “Buddy Bison went to Jamestown and he went into a ship. He saw the James River. When we were outside Buddy Bison was cold. He went inside a Yehakin. We saw deer skin, a turtle shell, and a wolf skin. He did not enjoy the snow and smoke. Buddy Bison saw squash and green beans. He had the best time ever at Jamestown!”Click here to read more.
The teachers and students did an amazing job raising resources to fund their trip by hosting bake sales and other events. And NPT’s Kids to Parks National Scholarship Fund matched their funds to make this trip a reality. Great job Lynbrook students and teachers!
National Kids to Parks Day is only 6 weeks away! Have you registered to be counted?. Did you know that the NFL Players Association just joined me to promote this national day of play? They want to help spread the news about the importance of discovering parks in your community. What a great addition to our team!
Here is some more exciting news. You can win free park prize packages starting this week – YAY! Below is a list of some of our prizes:
-The North Face backpack -Black Diamond hiking poles -CamelBak hydration packages -Eastern National park package with annual National Park pass -National Geographic Kids Books Package -Adidas Gift Certificate for $200 -American Hiking Society adventure pack -National Wildlife Federation adventure pack
Del Sur explorers admiring their state flower-the California Golden Poppy!
What’s in that Scat?
Last week I roamed all the way to California, the Golden State to visit my 70 fifth-grade friends at Del Sur Elementary School. Together we traveled to the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve where we explored this cool state park. Even though there weren’t a lot of poppies out due to the lack of rain this past winter, we still had a fabulous day learning in the Visitors Center and hiking with Ranger Jean where we learned about the native plants, the food chain and the unique Native American history of the park. We even played Project Wild games outside!
Here is what Jacob said when he discovered scat during the hike:
“I found a hollow bird bone, but I think it’s a feather. I found it inside dried up coyote poop!”
WOW, that’s AWESOME! I am glad that he washed his hands before eating lunch!
All the Del Sur students ended the day by receiving their own Buddy Bison to take on future park trips AND by being sworn in as Junior Rangers. Thank you to Ranger Jean and the wonderful park volunteers!
And a huge Buddy Bison THANK YOU to First Solar for sponsoring such a memorable experience!
Students learn about the daily responsibilities of rangers.
Mules, Canals and Other Cool Things...
The wonderful second-grade students from Harmony Hills Elementary School (MD) just sent me their journal entries from Ranger Kelly’s visit from the C&O Canal National Historical Park to their school last month!
Below are journal entries from Alex, Yaira and Sachini (respectively):
“When the park ranger visited she wore a uniform and a hat. She wears a different hat in the summer when it is hot. She takes care of the mules at the park and helps people find things. She works on a canal and we got to see how it works.”
“I loved it when the Park Ranger visited! We learned about the mules on the canal and got ranger badges. We also learned about life long ago and today. It’s very different now because kids go to school longer. We would have had to help our parents more long ago.”
“The park ranger visit was cool. We got real gold badges that the rangers wear and we learned about all the jobs she does. Her job is very interesting. We also got cool maps of the park and saw pictures of the mules.”
Sounds like we have some terrific young park stewards and conservationists in this group! If you would like to send me your park stories and photos, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WMSG students flapping their arms so they can fly like the Whooping Crane.
Scientists in Training!
The Washington Middle School for Girls, WMSG (DC) sixth graders recently visited the largest science and environmental education center in the Department of the Interior -- the Patuxent Research Refuge (MD).
The students learned how to identify different plants and animals in their ecosystem. Did you know that you can identify trees just by looking at their bark? They also learned about birds and were able to see different biomes on the tram ride.
LaTia had this to say about her experience as a whooping crane:
“The best part of my trip to the Patuxent Wildlife Refuge was dressing up like a mother whooping crane. It helped me experience what it is like to be a bird. If I go back to the park, I want to ride the tram more and see parts of the park that I missed.”
The refuge is a great place to learn about plant and animal species, especially endangered species! Thanks to my friends at Paladin Capital Group for funding our trip!
The Elements students exploring the outdoors.
Adventurers of the Month
It is hard to believe that winter was just a few short weeks ago. Many kids stayed indoors during those months, but The Elements, a Washington D.C. education group, connects children with nature during those cold months. This is why I decided to recognize their Flurries, ages 3-5, as my Adventurers of the Month. When the Flurries were told to search for the missing bison herd at Glover Archibald Park, little did they know they were looking for me.
One of the students exclaimed: "I thought we were looking for a real bison!"
Their parents love getting outside too: “Both of [my kids] love their Buddy Bison and asked to bring them to school to ‘share’ with their class….neither of them flinched when I said we were going out (in the rain!) to build snowmen yesterday afternoon. We got bundled up in our ski gear and out we went.”
I love their dedication to the outdoors no matter what season. Would you like to be considered as a candidate for our next Adventurer of the Month? Then email me at email@example.com.
Great news! Mark your calendars – April 20 through 28 is National Park Week. All of our national parks are waiving their entrance fees starting Monday, April 22 until Friday, April 26. Now that is something to cheer about! There are 401 national parks so find one near you.
Kick-off the week by celebrating Junior Ranger Day on April 20. This is the perfect opportunity for young explorers to learn about national parks and what they can do to protect and enjoy them.
Most important! Don’t forget to take me, Buddy Bison, along with you. Many park stores sell Buddy Bison or you can buy yours online. Remember that when you buy your own Buddy Bison you also help send an under-served kid to a park since the proceeds received by NPT fund our Kids to Parks National Scholarship Fund. So YOU can have a fun park experience AND help fund one for another kid. Isn’t that awesome?
The First Lady just launched the Let’s Move! Active Schools initiative. It is designed to encourage schools across the nation to incorporate outdoor play-time in their day! Their goal is to create early, positive physical activity experience and to integrate it into everyday life.
April is Let’s G.O. (Get Out) Month! The month is dedicated to “inspire, energize, and connect tens of thousands” of kids with the outdoors. Thanks to Children & Nature Network for kicking off spring and posting events to celebrate the great outdoors. Click here to find activities near you; don’t forget to take me, Buddy Bison, along!
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!