• 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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October 2014

What’s in Your Backyard? The National Mall!

I recently joined 50, third-grade Buddy Bison students from Neval Thomas Elementaryin Washington, D.C. for a tour of the National Mall and Memorial Parks. The fantastic monuments are right in their backyard but for many, it was their first ever visit to these special places. We were lucky enough to have Ranger Jennifer Epstein as our personal guide. The students are currently working on a National Mall classroom project, where they will build a model memorial, so this day provided the perfect “hands-on” research opportunity!  We stopped by the Jefferson, FDR, Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorials and even gazed across the reflecting pool at the Washington Monument. I can’t wait to see how their projects turn out!

Thank you Pepco Holdings for supporting this school for the third year (!) providing these students with meaningful and important park experiences.


MAY 2013

National Arboretum

THOMAS (7 of 8)Students from Washington Middle School for Girls, Neval Thomas Elementary, KIPP: WILL Academy and Potomac Lighthouse Academy visited the U.S. National Arboretum and Washington Youth Garden. They learned A LOT about plants and how to make a garden of their own.



All Hooves on Deck for DC Canoeing Adventures!

In October, my friends from Neval Thomas Elementary Schooltraveled the Anacostia River in 24-foot canoes brought all the way from Minnesota! Here is what my buddy Jonas said about the trip:

 On October 25th, Mrs. Hill’s third grade class canoed on the Anacostia River...In my canoe, I saw one chickadee, one hawk, two cardinals (one male and one female), and many other birds. All of the canoes stopped at the entrance of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens…On the way there, we saw a beaver named Dillon looking at us, then on the way back, he was sleeping. We came back and took our life jackets off, put them away with our paddles and left quickly. We had a great time canoeing and learned and saw a lot! 

Turtles, Owls, and Hawks, Oh My…at Neval Thomas Elementary School

This month was the kick-off event for DC's Neval Thomas Elementary as they joined our Buddy Bison school program! The kids saw some amazing wildlife living right in their own backyards.

My friends Daryl and Kellie from the Earth Conservation Corps taught the kids about animal habitats and the importance of watersheds like the Anacostia River.

They got to see turtles, an owl, and even a red-tailed hawk! Afterwards, we all danced to the hit nature song, Humps, Hooves, and Horns. Thank you to Pepco Holdings, Inc. for sponsoring the Buddy Bison program at Neval Thomas.