• Our mission is to preserve parks and create park stewards for tomorrow. Since 1983, we have completed more than 100 park projects benefiting 49 national park units and other public lands in 33 states. Furthermore, to foster future park enthusiasts and stewards, we launched in 2009 our Buddy Bison school program and in 2011 Kids to Parks Day, our nationwide day of play. Watch this video to learn more about our work and the impact of your support.

    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.

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January 2014

Exploring the Neighborhood with Beacon Heights

Exploring your neighborhood or backyard is the easiest way to get outdoors and that is exactly what I did with 5th graders from Beacon Heights Elementary School in Riverdale Park, MD last month. We hiked to their neighborhood park, Glenridge Recreation Center, where we identified trees, made seasonal observations, and cleaned up the park. We identified five different trees and collected over 16 bags of trash from the trails and grounds.

"When we all went to the park it was fun but there was a lot of trash so we had to clean. It was fun because we helped...It would be cool if we went back to the park every week so we could could keep it clean" - Michaca 5th grade

Our thanks to PEPCO for their sponsorship of Beacon Heights!

October 2013

Welcome Beacon Heights Elementary!

We welcomed Beacon Heights Elementary (Riverdale, MD) into our Where’s Buddy Bison Been?®environmental education program last month. I visited the school to surprise the 5th grade students about our new partnership. They were very excited!

"The Buddy Bison program will provide my 5th graders a chance to go out in their neighborhood to learn about nature. This will be a first experience for many of the students to canoe or to take a nature hike.- Stephen Biller, 5th grade science teacher

We are very grateful for the generous adopt-a-school sponsorship from Pepco.

Read about their first park adventure below.

October 2013

Buddy Bison Students Paddle, Paddle, Paddle

Even though the federal government was shutdown, that did not stop more than 500 Buddy Bison students representing 10 schools from exploring their local watersheds in the Washington, D.C. area and in Chester, PA thanks to our wonderful partner, Wilderness Inquiry (WI). WI brought six, 24-foot voyager canoes all the way from Minneapolis, MN stopping at 17 major cities along the way. Buddy Bison students were able to paddle with them on the Anacostia River at Bladensburg Waterfront Park in Prince George’s County, MD and on the Delaware River at Barry Bridge Park, PA. They learned about native wildlife and plants, the importance of keeping our rivers clean, and also about water safety. We raced on the water until our arms were tired!