• 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.




You don’t necessarily have to shut down all your technology to get a great nature experience. Often times, you can even enhance that experience with the right app! (Of course, taking pictures is a great way to use technology to enhance the experience, too.) Here are six really great apps that you can download on your phone or tablet to enjoy with your family. Now get out there and explore a park near you!

While You are Exploring

 
Project NOAH
Here’s your chance to be part of a really cool citizen science project. You take a photo of something you see while you’re out exploring (a plant, insect, bird, etc.) and then upload it to the app. It then gets added to thousands of other sightings, so you can see what other people are seeing in your area and they can see what you’re seeing! (Cost: Free) 
Leafsnap
How well do you know your leaves? It’s actually pretty tricky, trying to figure out one tree from the next. With Leafsnap, you can help identify the trees in your area. Just take a picture, and the app will help you figure it out. What a great way to turn tree ID into a fun, family activity! (Cost: Free) 
iTrack Wildlife
Are you fascinated by animal tracks? This is a really cool app that can help you figure out what track you find along the trail. It shows you what the track would look like in the soil and gives you dimensions as well. (Cost: Lite version available for free; full version is $14.99)
Star Chart
You might think apps are just for the daytime, but they’re not! Star Chart helps you figure out the constellations at night, breaking it down so it’s easy to find them in the sky. While there are a few constellation apps to choose from, this one is very simple and easy to use. Plus it’s free! (Cost: Free) 
AllTrails
Discover trails, camping and share photos, review trails and photos with other hiking friends. (Cost: Free)
  

Find Parks to Explore

 
National Park Field Guide
If you’re going to be visiting a national park, this is a must-have app. It lists out all the national parks in the country, and then lists out animals, plants, and more great information about that particular park. You should download this app, and use it as inspiration for what national park you want to visit next! (Cost: Free)
Oh Ranger ParkFinder!
This is similar to the National Park Field Guide except it finds all parks in your area, not just national ones. It’s a great tool to get your whole family excited about exploring a park in your area. (Cost: Free) 
MyRefuge
Gives you access to the best locations for wildlife viewing, bird watching and outdoor recreation opportunities in the National Wildlife Refuge System (Cost: Free) 
Park Guides by National Geographic
Get recommendations on Park must-dos, get photo tips, and discover park secrets (Cost: First park download is free) 

Blog post provided by National Park Trust staff and Ken Keffer and Stacy Tornio, creators of DestinationNature.net