NPT News - April 2013

APRIL 2013 ISSUE

CAN YOU GUESS THIS PARK
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NPT News
Our mission: Preserving parks today; Creating park stewards for tomorrow.
In this month's issue:
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NFL Players Association Joins the National Kids to Parks Day Team

This month, NPT is delighted to welcome the NFL Players Association as our newest national partner for National Kids to Parks Day. The NFL Players Association joins 17 other national partners and collaborators including the American Academy of Pediatrics, President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, America's State Parks, Department of the Interior's Youth in the Great Outdoors, National Park Service, National Recreation and Park Association, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Boy Scouts of America, National Education Association, National Geographic Kids, American Hiking Society, Children's National Medical Center, Children & Nature Network, U.S. Play Coalition, National Environmental Education Foundation, National Wildlife Federation, and National Park Hospitality Association.
 
"Our players have a special affinity for public parks and know how important it is for children to enjoy and play outdoors," said Jason Belser, NFLPA Senior Director of Player Affairs and Development. "We are proud to join National Park Trust and its impressive list of national partners in promoting National Kids to Parks Day." Read the full press release here.
 
To date we have more than 60,000 participants. Join us by registering at www.kidstoparks.org. There are more than 200 park events registered across the country and more than 200 cities, towns and councils that have pledged to promote this day. If your city or town is not included, contact Billy Schrack (william@parktrust.org) for more information.
 
Enter our Facebook Contest at http://bit.ly/117XIO0to win park prize packages including North Face backpacks, Adidas $200 gift card, an annual National Park pass, children's shoes from CHOOZE, CamelBak hydration packs, an autographed NFL helmet and much more.

Buddy Bison and NPT Meet Secretary Sally Jewell

As part of National Park Week, on Thursday, April 25, Secretary Sally Jewell met with National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis and key stakeholders including National Park Trust to discuss public-private partnerships and to learn more about efforts to tackle the disconnect between kids and families with nature. In her first public appearance, Secretary Jewell stressed the importance of making parks relevant and bringing nature into our everyday lives by bridging the gap between the public at large and our parks and public lands and water.
 
“When we spark a fire of passion for the outdoors in our children, we give them a lifelong gift of being able to enjoy nature and live healthier lives,” Jewell said. “We also lay the foundation for the next generation of conservationists, scientists, business leaders, teachers and beyond that will understand the key role that national parks and public lands play in local communities, drawing visitors and boosting the economy.”
 
 
Stakeholders were also able to share their thoughts and ideas about ways to engage more kids with the outdoors -- some of the many ideas that she will consider as she formulates her agenda. During the discussion, Buddy Bison was presented to the Secretary by Grace Lee, NPT executive director who stated, "We all welcomed the unique opportunity on the Secretary's 9th day of office to meet with her, learn more about her passion for bridging the disconnect between children and nature, and share information about our youth initiatives."
Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell meets Buddy Bison and Grace Lee NPT, executive director.
 
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Steve, Paul and Jon Duffendack

The Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve and Paul Duffendack

The National Park Trust family honors the memory and legacy of its former board chair and founding trustee, John Paul Duffendack who passed away after a long illness on March 24.

Paul was an active and passionate conservationist. He served on the NPT board for 15 years, including two years as board chair before being honored as an emeritus trustee. With deep roots in his beloved Kansas, he was instrumental in the creation of the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve and worked with the National Park Service as the park was planned and established. Former Secretary of the Interior, Bruce Babbitt appointed Paul to the advisory board of the Preserve.
"Paul felt that his work with NPT was his greatest contribution. It was incredibly meaningful and fulfilling work with tangible and significant results for posterity," stated his wife, Jan Duffendack.

"We are deeply indebted to Paul for the extraordinary legacy that he left for National Park Trust and the National Park Service. Thanks to his outstanding commitment and longterm efforts, a great swath of the tallgrass prairie in the Flint Hills of Kansas will be protected in perpetuity for the people of our nation. He was a wonderful colleague and an inspiration to many of us in the national parks community," stated Bill Brownell, NPT board chair.

A graduate of Kansas State University with a degree in architecture, Paul worked for several firms (including Marshall and Brown, Kivett and Myers, founding principal of CDFM Architects, HNTB and BWR), and was honored in 1995 as a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. He also served on the board of the Symphony in the Flint Hills. In addition to his wife Jan, he is also survived by his two sons, Jon and Steve Duffendack, Steve's wife Alise Dodds, and two grandchildren.

A fund in honor of Paul has been established at NPT to benefit current and future park preservation projects. To learn more contact, Shana Newman Fajardo at shana@parktrust.org, 301-279-7275, ext 15.

Buddy Bison Loves a Parade!

Last month, park rangers representing all of Kansas' National Parks paraded in the capitol city, Topeka, as part of the annual St. Patrick's Day parade. Thousands of people lined the two-mile parade route, typically three to four people thick. Rangers from Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve and Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site passed NPS trading cards, brochures, and junior ranger information to thousands of boys and girls along the parade route.

Rangers used the Tallgrass Prairie bus to publicize a new driving and bus tour of Topeka's civil rights and Civil War sites. Also joining in the parade was the park mascot, Monroe the puppy dog, named after the Monroe Elementary School made famous in the Brown v. Board case. Monroe was found abandoned at the front door of the park visitor center last year and has since been adopted by park staff.

Buddy Bison was the hit of the parade, joining up other favorite characters to welcome children to the National Parks of Kansas. "Buddy Bison was an exciting symbol for the thousands of people along the parade route who had no idea that Kansas had National Parks.", stated Dave Smith, Superintendent, Brown v. Board of Education NHS.

If you would like to borrow Buddy Bison for your park event, contact Billy Schrack at william@parktrust.org or 301-279-7275, ext 17.

 

"Like" and Win Park Prize Packages!

National Kids to Parks Day is only 3 weeks away! Have you registered to be counted? You can win free park prize packages through May 20!

Below is a list of some of our weekly prizes:

- The North Face backpack
-CamelBak hydration packages
-Eastern National park package with annual National Park pass
-National Geographic Kids Books Package
-Adidas Gift Certificate for $200
-CHOOZE Shoes prize pack for kids
-American Hiking Society adventure pack
-National Wildlife Federation adventure pack
-NFL autographed helmet

“Like” our National Park Trust Facebook page for contest details
and to enter to win!

We will be giving prizes away every week until May 20th so you will have many chances to win! Winners will be announced every Friday on our Facebook page at 3 PM(ET). Enter now!

Thanks to all of our generous donors: The North Face, CamelBak, Eastern National, National Geographic Kids, Adidas, American Hiking Society, CHOOZE Shoes, National Wildlife Federation and NFL Players Association

GOOD LUCK!

Budget
 
 

President’s Budget Requests $2.6 Billion for National Park Service

The President’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget requests $2.6 billion to support the National Park Service (NPS), the steward of the nation’s most cherished natural and cultural resources. The budget requests a net increase of $26.1 million over FY2012 to fund essential programs and emerging operational needs, plus $30.5 million in fixed-cost increases.

America’s national parks received nearly 287 million visitors in fiscal year 2012. As the keeper of the 401 units of the national park system, 23 national scenic and national historic trails, and 58 wild and scenic rivers, the NPS is charged with preserving these lands and historic features designated by the nation for their cultural and historic significance, scenic and environmental worth, and educational and recreational opportunities. Additionally, NPS grant and technical assistance programs help revitalize communities and expand local recreation opportunities across the country.

This budget includes a total of $2.5 billion for NPS programs that support the President's America's Great Outdoors (AGO) initiative, including $2.3 billion for national park operations; a total increase of $48.4 million over 2012. Programs funded out of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF,) a centerpiece of the AGO initiative, are requested at $110.4 million.

In addition to the discretionary request, the Administration will submit a legislative proposal to permanently authorize annual funding, without further appropriation or fiscal year limitation, for the LWCF. Permanent funding will increase financial certainty necessary to build local and community partnerships in conservation and optimize valuable investments by leveraging other federal and non-federal funds.

It is important to register your full support with your representatives in the House and Senate as they take up this request to fund the NPS for the coming fiscal year.

First Solar Funds Youth Exploration of Parks and Solar Projects

With ever-shrinking budgets, school districts across the country are finding it increasingly difficult to take students on field trips. Field trips provide important opportunities for hands-on learning. But in several small Southwest communities, First Solar-funded field trips allowed more than 100 students to explore nearby state and national parks, and visit solar farms under construction.  

These field trips are part of First Solar’s commitment to supporting communities near its projects and providing youth with sustainability and renewable energy educational opportunities. A First Solar grant allowed National Park Trust to expand its environmental education program Where’s Buddy Bison Been?®, which promotes the value of national parks and encourages healthy, active lifestyles. Since early 2012, First Solar has partnered with the National Park Trust to take students to parks and tour the company’s solar project sites.

Students visited the park nearest their school, including Joshua Tree National Park, Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve, and Mojave National Preserve. Two of the four schools involved were also able to tour First Solar’s AVSR1 and Desert Sunlight solar projects. “In today’s economy, many families can’t afford to go on even short trips,” said Jill Stanford, fifth-grade teacher at the Del Sur School near Lancaster, California. “First Solar gave our students a tremendous opportunity to experience the natural beauty surrounding their community.

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Del Sur students learning about solar energy.   Students making their own solar powered car.

When children step on site, they see people working to build a project that will produce clean energy, helping to protect the environment,” said Nathan Rudolph, construction manager at Desert Sunlight Solar Farm. “These students were engaged and intrigued by solar power, and the technology that makes it happen. During the solar site tours, students tinkered with solar-powered critters and cars, helping them better understand solar technology. They learned how native species are handled on site, and what steps First Solar takes to be a good neighbor and protect the environment while developing its projects."

During park visits, students were able to hike trails with rangers, see wildlife, follow paw prints, learn how the food chain works and become Junior Park Rangers. “It’s an ecosystem of sorts. If children come to understand the importance of the park and our educational mission, they will support us into the future and treat this unique environment with respect,” said Jean Rhyne, State Park Interpreter at the Poppy Reserve.

At the end of the day, these hands on experiences will stay with the children for the rest of their lives,” said Grace Lee, NPT's executive director. “We are hopeful that building strong memories will help us preserve the legacy of our parks.”

NPT thanks Adam Eventov and Ashley Hudgens for writing this article.

National Park Trust / 401 E. Jefferson Street, Suite 203 / Rockville, MD 20850 / Email: npt@parktrust.org / www.parktrust.org