• 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.




Only one sitting U.S. President has been exposed to enemy gunfire during wartime. That occurred in July 1864, when President Abraham Lincoln traveled on horseback to Fort Stevens in Northwest Washington D.C. Fort Stevens was the northernmost in a ring of 68 forts encircling the capital city to protect it during the Civil War. When General Jubal Early and his corps of 20,000 Confederates snuck across the Potomac River upstream from the capital and circled through Maryland, Fort Stevens became the only one of the forts to come under attack during the war. At that time, Washington, D.C. was being defended by only about 9,000 poorly trained reserves scattered among the forts. Fortunately, the Confederates were detected and the Union Army rushed in veteran reinforcements the night before the Confederate attack. Lincoln was present to spur on the Union troops, and at one point in the battle the 6’4” president was commanded to get down so as not to be shot by the Confederate sharpshooters. Faced with a superior Union force, including supporting cannon fire from Fort DeRussy to the west and Fort Slocum to the east, General Early decided to retreat and return to Virginia.

In 2001 when the direct viewshed of the fort was threatened by a developer planning to build 13 townhouses, NPT sprang into action. NPT negotiated with the developer to purchase the 3-acre parcel for $185,000, less than its assessed value by $40,000. NPT acquired the land on the last day of 2001. However, it was not until September 2003 that the legal transfer of the property to the National Park Service (NPS) was completed. NPS incorporated this land into Rock Creek Park, the nation’s largest urban unit of the NPS, which already included Fort Stevens itself. The neighbors and the board of NPT all gathered at the property for a celebration.

One of NPT’s strongest neighborhood supporters during this entire process were alumni of the Military Road School. This historic school would have been very adversely impacted by the construction of townhouses on the 3-acre parcel which is contiguous to the school. Built in 1911 for educating freed African Americans, the school attracted African American children in the upper northwest section of the District of Columbia as well as the surrounding towns in Maryland. The Military Road School remained in use through 1954 when school segregation ended. It has recently been fully renovated and serves today as a very popular D.C. public charter school.

Fort Stevens now serves as an educational center for interpretation of the battle, while the Military Road School conveys its own rich African American history. As the battle that took place in 1864 prepares to mark it's 150th anniversary in 2014, NPT is proud to have been involved in the preservation of this national treasure.