• 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

    2014 ANNUAL REPORT


  • 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.




NPT Honors Senate Majority Leader with the 2008 Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award

By all accounts, this year's Vento award was a great success!  Senator Harry Reid of Nevada received NPT's highest honor and shared a moving story about how his close friend, Bruce Vento, gave Senator Reid the idea to create Nevada's first National Park, the Great Basin National Park.

Senator Reid said, "I was a new member of the House of Representatives and [Bruce and I] were walking across Independence Avenue to vote and he said, "You're from Nevada, right?"  And I said, "Yes, I'm from Nevada." And he said, "You should have a national park in Nevada. You don't have one... And every time I would see him in the next month or so, he kept talking to me about this."

After several years of town meetings and tours through Nevada with Vento and other legislative leaders, Senator Reid went on to say "I'll always remember Bruce Vento because...he gave me the idea to do our National Park and as a result of that we have this beautiful National Park."


In 1986, Senator Reid authored legislation that created Great Basin National Park. Currently, Reid is working to protect the Park from being polluted by a proposed coal plant and is striving to make Nevada the leader in renewable energy.


Senator Reid has always been a strong supporter of environmental protection and has fought for improvements to environmental laws, laws including the Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, Clean Air Act, and Endangered Species Act.


In 2000, Reid helped pass the Lake Tahoe Restoration Act, which authorized $300 million over ten years for restoration efforts at the lake. Since coming to Congress, Reid has also been a major champion for the designation of wilderness. In his 25 years of service, Reid has been responsible for helping designate nearly 3.4 million acres of wilderness in Nevada.


The reception was attended by members of Congress and business leaders who share a common concern for the long-term, responsible stewardship of the earth's natural resources.


National Park Trust established the Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award in 2000 to honor the memory and legacy of Bruce Vento, a 12-term Member of Congress from Minnesota and former Chair of the Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forest, and Public Land. Congressman Vento passed more park legislation when he was chair of the committee than any other previous chairman. Each recipient of the Vento Award has expanded the nation's understanding of what it means to have a lifelong legacy and commitment to protecting America's heritage.

Since beginning the award in 2000, NPT has honored eight recipients for their commitment to the nation's National Parks and environment. 

National Park Trust is grateful to many sponsors for making the NPT's Eighth Annual Vento Award possible. Proceeds of the event are used to fund NPT's current and future land projects.