• 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


  • 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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September 2014

Why is the water so blue?

Last week, I traveled to Crater Lake National Park with 42 awesome Buddy Bison students from the Fossil Charter School in Fossil, OR. These 5th – 12th graders traveled 200 miles from the rural high desert to camp at nearby Diamond Lake and explore the unique characterististics of Crater Lake. While the 5th and 6th graders hiked to the top of Watchman Overlook, the 7th – 12th graders enjoyed a 2-hour boat cruise with Ranger Annie for an intimate view of this iconic landscape. They all learned about the remarkable geologic forces that resulted in its creation. 

Did you know that Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the U.S. at almost 2,000 feet deep! That’s over six football fields deep! Incredibly, the water from the lake is entirely from rain and snow melt and is some of the clearest water I've seen – we could see the bottom 100 feet below us.  With over 5 trillion gallons of water bluer than the sky, the students wondered, “Why is the water so blue?”  Since Crater Lake has relatively pure water without sediments, algae and pollution, light can easily pass through and be absorbed, except for the color blue, which is reflected back to us.  In many places the water looked tropical in color – just don’t jump into it because the water is a chilly 38 degrees – now that’s cold enough to make my bison fur stand up! 

Thank you Emerson Electric for bringing Fossil Charter School into the Buddy Bison program this year and for funding this wonderful park experience that the students will never forget. Our thanks also to Molly McCarthy from Senator Ron Wyden's office for joining us on this memorable day.