• Watch this video from Kids to Parks Day 2014. 
    Save the date! The 5th annual Kids to Parks Day 2015 is May 16th.


    Register your kid-friendly park event below. It is not necessary to create a new event, consider co-branding programs that your park has already planned. 



  • Families, Kids, and Adults


  • We celebrated our 4th annual Kids to Park Day on Saturday, May 17, 2014 and want to thank you for joining us in this national movement that engages children with parks, nature, and healthy outdoor play.

    States, cities and towns across the country participated by proclaiming May 17th as Kids to Parks Day. We are already excited for Kids to Parks Day 2015. Below you will find a proclamation template. Please consider proclaiming May 16th, 2015 as Kids to Park Day in your community and showcase the great outdoor recreation activities available for your residents! 



Senator Wyden/2014 Bruce F. Vento Award


Beacon Heights


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

Have you been a good steward for your local park? Send me your photos and stories to buddy@buddybison.org; you may be featured in next month’s newsletter!

Our thanks to PEPCO for their sponsorship of Beacon Heights!

National Park Trust's Buddy Bison says, "Ready, Set, Play...May 18 is National Kids to Parks Day"

WASHINGTON, May 2, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Get outside and play! Visit www.kidstoparks.org and join families across the country that will participate in National Kids to Parks Day on Saturday, May 18, 2013. For the third consecutive year, the National Park Trust and organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Children & Nature Network, the NFL Players Association, America's State Parks, the National Wildlife Federation, and the U.S. Department of the Interior are coming together to celebrate the great outdoors and support the First Lady's Let's Move Outside! initiative (see complete of list of all 18 national partners: www.kidstoparks.org).

Join in the fun as over 300 cities, towns and parks host free, outdoor events for kids and families. This year, six governors (from Arkansas, Colorado, Missouri, Mississippi, Texas and Vermont) have issued state proclamations to commemorate National Kids to Parks Day. More than 108,000 people participated in local events in 2012, and nearly 95,000 have already registered for 2013. For a full list of events go to www.kidstoparks.org

Thanks to the generous support of Southern Company Charitable Foundation, Caesars Foundation, Booz Allen Hamilton, Cigna Foundation, The North Face and CamelBak, National Park Trust has been able to connect kids to parks this spring through its Buddy Bison education initiative and National Kids to Parks Day School Contest that awarded 42 classroom scholarships.

"We want to inspire children to love the outdoors, to choose an active lifestyle, and to be future park stewards," said Grace Lee, National Park Trust Executive Director. "We hope parents will take this opportunity to have some fun and enjoy one of our many amazing parks around the country."


SOURCE National Park Trust


U.S. Virgin Islands National Park

(2004-2005) NPT secured a million dollar-plus donation of lands that will extend the southern beach of the park near Rams Head. This property is part of an NPT initiative to add land to the U.S. Virginia Island National Park that will also protect a marine sanctuary.

(1998) With the help of NPT, the Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park were able to accept a million dollar land donation to enable land swap of key in-holdings within the Park.


Green Turtle Gliding 1


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Senators Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Renew and Improve Landmark Conservation Program

Fifty years to the day after President John F. Kennedy sent the original Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) bill to Congress, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT), Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), and Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) proposed legislation that would fully realize that program’s promise to conserve parks, open spaces, and wildlife habitat for the benefit of hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation.

The legislation, titled the “Land and Water Conservation Authorization and Funding Act of 2013,” is supported by a broad coalition of conservation and recreation organizations and outdoor industry businesses. It was introduced with 4 cosponsors: U.S. Senators Mark Udall (D-CO), Jon Tester (D-MT), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Tom Udall (D-NM).

"These Senators are showing true leadership to restore the Land and Water Conservation Fund and to help communities protect close-to-home recreation," said Will Rogers, president of The Trust for Public Land. "Now is the time for Congress to step up this year and take action to guarantee the future of the Land and Water Conservation Fund as it was proposed 50 years ago."

By fully and permanently funding LWCF at its authorized level of $900 million per year, the legislation would foster federal, state, and local conservation investments that boost tourism, expand recreation spending, protect water quality, insulate communities from natural hazards, sustain agriculture and forestry on private lands, provide habitat for fish and wildlife, and improve the quality of life that draws businesses and workers to communities. LWCF is also essential to make public lands public by securing recreation access, particularly where opportunities for sportsmen and others to access public lands are currently limited or precluded.

“The Land and Water Conservation Fund has produced great and lasting benefits for the American people over the nearly 50 years of its existence,” said Bob Bendick, Director of Government Relations at The Nature Conservancy. “Public opinion polls reveal the overwhelming support of the American people for conservation of land and water and for the use of a small proportion of federal oil and gas revenues to accomplish that conservation. We

are grateful to the sponsors from both parties for introducing legislation to renew and continue this important program.”

Last year, 76 U.S. Senators voted in favor of a provision in the Transportation Bill to reauthorize and strengthen LWCF, reflecting a fast-growing and bipartisan consensus that the federal revenues deposited into LWCF should be invested as intended for the benefit of local communities, hunters and anglers, and families.

Rather than using taxpayer money, LWCF receives a small portion – $900 million each year – of the billions of dollars in annual oil and gas revenues from federal waters. Since the program’s enactment in 1965, however, Congress has often diverted the money for other purposes; only once in the history of the fund has all the money gone for the original intent of the LWCF. Over $17 billion that was slated to be used on conservation has been redirected to other purposes. This diversion continues despite significant increases in the energy revenues the federal government collects.

“Billions of dollars are collected every year from existing offshore oil and gas leasing revenues - the designated revenue stream for LWCF - and yet that money is regularly diverted away from the program for other purposes,” said Jamie Williams, President of The Wilderness Society. “We need to make sure that money is spent for the purposes for which it was originally collected to ensure that communities can protect places important to our outdoor recreation economy. We are grateful to the Senate bill's sponsors and cosponsors for their leadership on LWCF.”

Since President Kennedy proposed the program’s creation on Valentine’s Day 1963, LWCF has helped protect land at some of America’s most iconic and popular places, including our national parks, national forests, and wildlife refuges, where millions of Americans recreate; beaches from Cape Cod, MA and Cumberland Island, GA to Michigan’s Sleeping Bear Dunes; California’s Santa Monica Mountains and Montana’s Glacier National Park; as well as cultural and historic places like the Flight 93 Memorial in Pennsylvania and Civil War battlefields and Native American sites.

The program also includes grants to support state and local parks for conserving and developing close-to-home recreation areas and grants for forests and wildlife protection – which create jobs and help communities to attract and keep employers.

A study released today by the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) documents the economic impact of outdoor recreation at the state level, which builds upon a national study released by OIA in 2012 that found that outdoor recreation is an economic powerhouse in the United States, each year generating $646 billion in consumer spending, 6.1 million direct jobs and $80 billion in local, state and federal tax revenue. (Note: the state and national studies can be downloaded at outdoorindustry.org/recreationeconomy).

“Outdoor recreation is good for the American economy and our future,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, president and CEO of OIA. “When we invest in the nation’s network of public lands and waters, we are protecting and enhancing outdoor experiences for the benefit of the thousands of businesses, communities and families whose livelihoods depends on the outdoor recreation economy.”

The National Park Trust is a member of the LWCF Coalition which is comprised of conservation, recreation, business, and sportsmen’s groups working together to support the LWCF program in order to meet America’s conservation and recreation needs in the 21st century. For more information on LWCF and the places in each state that have been protected using LWCF funds, visit www.lwcfcoalition.org.