NPT News - November 2011

 

November 2011 ISSUE
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NPT News

Mission: National Park Trust's mission is to preserve parks today and create park stewards for tomorrow

The Leadership Council in downtown Washington D.C.
NPT Leadership Council in Washington D.C.

Inaugural Leadership Council Established

On October 26th, leaders from the conservation, education, corporate and healthcare communities came together for NPT's inaugural Leadership Council meeting in Washington D.C. The council learned of NPT's three-year strategic goals and guest speaker Will Shafroth, Counselor to Secretary Ken Salazar, highlighted recent developments with the America's Great Outdoors initiative.

Over the next six months the council will work in concert with the NPT board to strategically expand our land and youth programs in key geographic regions and to merge our youth education and land preservation work. "The members of the Leadership Council will be a critical and valuable resource for NPT's board and staff as we work to fulfill our mission - preserving parks today and creating park stewards for tomorrow," stated Chuck Knauss, NPT board member and chair of the Leadership Council. The current members of the Leadership Council include:

  • Michael Carper - Carper Foundation (Washington D.C.)
  • Rob Council - 3M (Minnesota)
  • Jean-Michel Cousteau - Ocean Futures Society (California)
  • Sylvia Earle - National Geographic Society (California)
  • Cindee George - Center of Wonder (Wyoming)
  • Winston H. Hickox - California Strategies, LLC (California)
  • Ed Holland - Southern Company (Georgia)
  • Willie Iles - Boy Scouts of America (Texas)
  • Gwen Migita - Caesars Entertainment (Nevada)
  • Joe Molinaro - National Association of REALTORS® (Washington D.C.)
  • Mary Speyer – City Kids (Washington D.C.)
  • Susan Vento - Church of the Assumption (Minnesota)
  • Robert Zarr, M.D. - American Academy of Pediatrics (Washington D.C.)
Board members with Chief Park Ranger Anthony Winegar and owners of the Kennesaw inholding.
Board members with Chief Park Ranger Anthony Winegar and owners of the Kennesaw inholding.

NPT Board Meets at Kennesaw Mountain NBP

NPT held its annual board meeting earlier this month at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park in Georgia, where NPT is working to protect a 16-acre inholding. Board members met with the landowners and toured the property with Chief Park Ranger Anthony Winegar to learn about the Civil War battle at Kennesaw Mountain in June 1864 and the significance of the Leavell property and its important Union story. This battle resulted in a rare Confederate victory late in the war. 

Using the unique history of this park, NPT is developing a new education module to integrate our land preservation projects with our Buddy Bison youth education programming. The pilot project will teach middle school Civil War scholars about the importance of protecting and preserving our nation’s parks by making land conservation relevant. NPT hopes to launch this pilot program on a national scale.

NPT is partnering with the Trust for Public Land to acquire this property using the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), the primary vehicle for acquiring land for public use. As the FY 2012 budget process for LWCF draws closer to a conclusion, please contact your Congressional representatives to urge their support for LWCF.

St. Ignatius Loyola Academy (Baltimore, MD) begin their canoe journey down the Anacostia River.
St. Ignatius Loyola Academy (Baltimore, MD) begin their canoe journey down the Anacostia River.
Students from Chester, PA rarely get the chance to experience open outdoor space, and when they did, they took the opportunity to fully explore the expansive fields of Valley Forge National Historical Park.
Students from Chester, PA at Valley Forge National Historical Park.
Joseph Craig Elementary (New Orleans, LA) students learning about swamp ecology.
Joseph Craig Elementary (New Orleans, LA) students at Jean Lafitte National Historical Park.
Gorenflo Elementary (Biloxi, MS) students in the Gulf Islands National Seashore Visitor Center.
Gorenflo Elementary (Biloxi, MS) students at Gulf Islands National Seashore.

Buddy Bison Mobilizes 1,000 Kids to Parks 

Last month was certainly one of the most eventful in the short history of the Where’s Buddy Bison Been? school program. Nearly 1,000 students across the country were immersed in the natural world and shared in a truly unique and valuable outdoor education experience. Our schools in Washington D.C., Maryland, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, and Mississippi spent a day at a local national park. Although the parks are located close to the schools, almost all of the students had never set foot inside their boundaries. With the support of NPT, they were finally able to have a transformational park experience:

  • Chester Community Charter School (Chester, PA) visited Valley Forge National Historical Park and had the chance to walk through George Washington’s historic cabin, took a nature hike through three biomes, and participated in an outdoor habitat activity.
  • Joseph Craig Elementary School (New Orleans, LA) experienced the swamps of the Barataria Preserve, which is part of the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park. One of the highlights of their trip was taking a “senses walk” where they saw armadillos, snakes, and bobcat scat. 
  • Gorenflo Elementary School (Biloxi, MS) traveled to Gulf Islands National Seashore where they were educated by park rangers about the intricacies of a marshland, and even had the chance to practice cast-netting. 

Thank You Caesars Foundation!

Without help from our wonderful partners, these trips would not have been possible. NPT is extremely grateful to the Caesars Foundation for their generosity in providing key funds to get the students from Chester, PA and the Gulf area out to nearby parks. Also, a big thank you goes out to the HERO volunteers who kept everything running smoothly during the trips.

 

HERO volunteers couldn’t get enough of Buddy Bison.
HERO volunteers couldn’t get enough of Buddy Bison.

 

Buddy Bison award winners Jesper Frant and Jill Ozarski.

Senator Mark Udall Awards Buddy Bison to Recognize Staff

Senator Mark Udall (CO) and his staff have been very supportive of the Buddy Bison program since its inception. In addition, Senator Udall recently started awarding Buddy Bison every week to a staff member demonstrating exceptional work in both his DC and CO offices. Regarding his reasons for giving out the award he said, "My work in the Senate would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of my staff. I wanted a way to recognize their tireless efforts, and – as chairman of the Senate's National Parks Subcommittee – I couldn't think of a better mascot for our office than Buddy Bison.” Some of the Buddy Bison award winners to date have been:

Thank you Senator Udall for choosing our pint-sized mascot, Buddy Bison to recognize your staff for all their wonderful efforts!
Senator Udall and his staff's visionary leadership is exemplified this month with his introduction along with Congressman Ron Kind (WI) of the Healthy Kids Outdoors Act - a giant step in the right direction. As a member of Outdoor Alliance for Kids (OAK), NPT has signed on asking members of Congress to support this critical initiative.

Buddy Bison leads the parade, reminding everyone: “Explore outdoors, the parks are yours”!

Buddy Bison Leads Parade for the 150th Anniversary of Kansas

It is becoming clear that NPT’s mascot Buddy Bison is connecting with residents across the country as he reminds us to “Explore outdoors, the parks are yours!” As over 3,000 people looked on, big Buddy Bison fearlessly led park rangers and volunteers through the streets of Wichita, Kansas in celebration of the state’s 150th anniversary on October 8th. Represented in the parade were all five of the national park sites in Kansas, including the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve – a 10,894-acre national park in which NPT played a lead role in establishing.

NPT would like to recognize Heather Brown, chief of interpretation at Tallgrass Prairie, who portrayed Buddy Bison in the parade. If you would like to borrow Buddy Bison, contact Adam - adam@parktrust.org or call (301) 279-7275 ext. 19 for more information.


Bison grazing – Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

Secretary Salazar Releases 50-State AGO Report

Secretary Ken Salazar recently released the 50-state America’s Great Outdoors report, which outlines over 100 of the most promising land access and protection projects in the United States.

The full report, which you can view here, includes 2 projects for every state – the majority of them focus on construction of new trails and recreation sites, enhancement of urban parks, connecting youth to nature and educating them on the environment, and restoration of significant American landscapes.

Obama Proclaims New National Monument

On November 1st, President Barack Obama used the Antiquities Act for the first time in his presidency to proclaim Fort Monroe in Hampton, Virginia as our countries newest national monument. A former army base, Fort Monroe has a rich history as a Union controlled site during the Civil War and is also known as a symbolic site for the early freedom of American slaves.

Golden Gate National Recreational Area in California – the featured photo in NPT’s 2012 Calendar.

NPT is "Bridging the Bay" with New 2012 Calendars

For many years the only way to get across the San Francisco Bay was by ferry. In 1937, despite many obstacles, the “bridge that couldn’t be built” was completed. Today, the Golden Gate Bridge is an architectural marvel and the cornerstone of the National Park Service’s Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Today there are other seemingly insurmountable ‘bays’ in our nation’s parks – ‘bays’ to connect our nation’s youth with our country’s parks and ‘bays’ in our ability to ensure the long-term protection of our beloved parklands. Your ongoing support is helping NPT to construct the ‘bridges that can’t be built’ by ensuring park preservation today and creating park stewards for tomorrow. Help us to connect people to parks to benefit both – order a calendar today.


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