• Our mission is to preserve parks today and create park stewards for tomorrow. Since 1983, we have completed more than 100 park projects in 33 states. Furthermore, to foster future park enthusiasts and stewards, we created our Buddy Bison School Program and Kids to Parks Day, our nationwide day of play. This video summarizes our work and celebrates the 2015 Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award recipient, Senator Rob Portman (OH).

    Mapping our progress


  • Since 1983, NPT has supported and assisted in acquiring inholdings and in developing public and private partnerships to promote the acquisition and preservation of parks, wildlife refuges, historic landmarks, public lands, and water ways. We have completed more than 100 park projects benefiting 49 national park units and other public lands in 33 states. To learn more about about our work and how you can get involved, contact Dick Ring, NPT Park Projects Director.

  • Buddy Bison School Program: Because Kids Need Parks and Parks Need Kids

    The Buddy Bison school program was created in 2009 to engage diverse children from Title I schools with their local, state and national parks to teach environmental education and the numerous benefits of outdoor recreation. If parks are to survive, the face of those parks must change and under-served communities must have access to these local cultural and environmental resources. More than 80% of the students in the Buddy Bison school program qualify for free or reduced-priced lunch, predominantly in inner city communities. This program has been used in 60 schools across the country in grades pre-K through 8th in public, public charter and private schools across the country (20 states and Washington D.C.).

    This experiential learning program enhances existing school curricula throughout the year with emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) as well as history, language arts, reading, geography, the arts, and outdoor recreation. Students also learn about the careers of professionals who support our parks-- and the importance of stewarding our public lands. And in addition to bringing kids to parks, we bring parks to kids by arranging schools visits from our many conservation partners.

    To learn more about how you can get involved, contact Billy Schrack, NPT Education Director.


Deerfield Elementary Learns to Keep Our Waterways Clean

The students from Deerfield Run Elementary School in Laurel, MD went to a nearby stream to check its water quality using nets and bowls. The first thing they observed was that the water wasn't very clear. So, they immediately used one of the bowls to take a sample of the water. It was green. The kids and their Buddy Bison teacher Seth hunted for microorganisms for 30-40 minutes but the only things they found were shells and dead organisms. The Deerfield students learned that it is very hard for most organisms to survive in areas that are polluted. 


The Deerfield Trail Blazers

Last year, teacher Seth Tucker and the students at Deerfield Run Elementary School in Laurel , MD blazed a nature trail in the woods behind their school! The students built the ¼ mile trail in the woods by raking leaves, clearing roots, cutting branches, and pulling weeds. Recently, I visited Deerfield , where a new group – The Green Leaders – is making a trail guide to educate others about the trails ecosystem. They are also sending letters to other Buddy Bison schools telling them about their experiences and encouraging them to build their own trails.

The Deerfield students said: “We built a trail because we want other kids at our school to learn about nature. Also we wanted to learn more about nature and conservation ourselves. We hope to leave a legacy at our school.”

I had a wonderful time exploring this trail! Great job Deerfield !

Fifth graders from Deerfield Elementary (Laurel, MD) hiking on their newly built trail.