We at National Park Trust just celebrated our 30th year of work in park conservation – that's three decades! We have accomplished a LOT, but there still is much more work that we can do together to protect our parks and get all of us kids outdoors enjoying them. So have a piece of birthday cake then grab your shoes and water bottle and let's go for a hike! Remember the parks are yours!
After much deliberation I am excited to announce this year's winners of our 2013 Kids to Parks Day School Contest! It was very difficult to make my decisions because we received SO many more contest entries this year than last year. Thank you all for participating!
Congratulations to our 42 scholarships winners in grades pre-K through 12! Our park scholarships will benefit nearly 1700 students. Yippee!
Students will visit national parks, U.S. Army Corps sites, state parks, county, and local parks in 21 states. That is pretty cool!
We loved reading about your stewardship projects ideas -- from planting apple trees to doing water testing to park clean-up projects. We can't wait to see your pictures from your Kids to Parks Day celebrations!
A huge Buddy Bison thanks to our wonderful sponsors who supplied the very generous resources for our school contest: Southern Company Charitable Foundation and the Caesars Foundation!!
Let's Move Active Schools!
First Lady Michele Obama participating in a tree planting with me and some of my friends!
Did you know that National Kids to Parks Day is officially in support of the First Lady’s Let's Move! program? And did you know that the First Lady just launchedLet’s Move Active Schools!
So all of our school contest winners should be proud to be ambassadors of Let's Move! Active Schools. The goal of the initiative is to bring physical activity back to America’s schools! I am excited that our National Kids to Parks Day will help kids be active by vising their parks in their community.
Sunshine Early Childhood Learning Center (DC) students racing to the finish line!
Another Chance to Win
If you love free stuff (I know I do!) and you're a fan of online contests, make sure you or your parents, aunts, uncles -- and grandparents "like" both our Facebook and Twitter pages to enter to win exciting park prizes! We will be awarding Buddy Bison prize packages that will include North Face backpacks, water bottles, National Park passes, National Geographic Kids books, hiking poles and so much more!
Starting April 15 I will be giving out one prize each week until National Kids to Parks Day on Saturday, May 18.The only way to win is through our Facebook account – so get the grownups that you know to help you. You can only enter one time each week! All prizes winners will be announced each week on Fridays. So re-tweet, "like", comment, and get ready to win!
Visit a National Park For FREE - National Park Week
Students from Baker Elementary School (CA) enjoyed visiting Mojave Desert National Preserve.
Great news! Mark your calendars – April 20 through 28 is National Park Week and during that week ALL national parks are free! Now that is something to cheer about! There are nearly 400 national parks so find one near to you here!
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?
Lending a hoof to plant some flowers in the school garden.
Thumbs up for Green Thumbs
The best way to learn about gardening and plants is to dig right into the soil and get your hands (or hooves!) dirty. Our third-grade friends from Potomac Lighthouse Public Charter School (Washington, D.C.) are learning about plants and they decided to bring their lessons outdoors by planting flowers around their school. They will see their seedlings sprout this spring.
The students planted a flowerbed of tulips and hyacinths. Kyrah, a gardener from the third grade, had this to say about her class project:
"I'm happy we planted flowers like this because they will come back every year and help keep our school beautiful!"
I am delighted that I was able to help plant flowers in Potomac Lighthouse’s garden. Keep up the great work kids and don’t forget to water your plants as you watch them grow!
My second-grade friend Michael from Beauvoir-The National Cathedral Elementary School (Washington, D.C.) made the most of his recent trip to Alaska. I was glad to be by Michael’s side as he took me skiing down the slopes and watched dog sled races at the annual Iditarod. Here is a journal entry from his trip:
“On Thursday, February 28, 2013 Buddy and I flew to Alaska at night. We did not get to our hotel until 3:00 AM -- that is 7:00 AM in Washington. On Friday March 1, Buddy and I went skiing at Alyeska. Later that night my cousin Oliver and I went to a hockey game. We got to sit on the glass. Buddy liked to watch the Anchorage Aces win. On Saturday, Buddy and I went to the start of the Iditarod. Buddy liked to see all the dogs. Buddy liked to ride on the dog sled and so did I. On Sunday, Buddy and I went skiing at Alyeska on different runs. Later that day, Buddy and I went to see my aunt and uncle. On Monday, Buddy and I went to the University of Alaska Museum. We saw a wooly mammoth skull and tusk. Later that day, Buddy and I went to North Pole, Alaska. We saw four reindeer. We also went to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. It is 800 miles long. On Tuesday, Buddy and I flew home.”
What a wonderful and exciting trip you took Michael! Thanks for allowing me to tag along and don’t forget to tell your friends to bring me along on their adventures too!
The National Park Trust is excited to announce that to date 150 mayors 2 governors have proclaimed May 18 as National Kids to Parks Day! In addition we have over 6,000 people who have pledged to visit a park that day! Help us reach 10,000 participants by April 15. Register here!
Buddy Bison encourages kids to "Explore outdoors, the parks are yours!" Kids (and adults) love taking Buddy with them to parks and snapping a few photos. All proceeds from the sales of Buddy Bison benefit our Kids to Parks National Scholarship Fund!