• 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.

Decmeber 2013

President's Park: Home of the National Christmas Tree

Right before the holiday break, 80 preschool students from Sunshine Early Learning Center in Washington, D.C. explored President’s Park in front of the White House. We met with Park Ranger Monamma at the National Christmas Tree to learn about the park and tree. Did you know the National Christmas Tree is a living tree that they use every year?

We finished the day by meeting the man-in-red, Santa, at his workshop. I asked Santa if he could help me get more kids like you to our parks.

A huge Buddy Bison thank you to SunTrust for sponsoring the Sunshine Early Learning Center this school year. 

August 2013

A Day of Fun with Sunshine

Want to know a great way to spend a summer day? How about at the U.S. National Arboretum and Washington Youth Garden with 50 preschool students from Sunshine Early Learning Center! The 3, 4 and 5 year-old students from Washington D.C. had a great time running in the fields, exploring Fern Valley and the Youth Garden. One of the highlights was helping the gardeners; the kids sorted worms, picked crops, and dug for vegetables. Of course they also had fun in the corn maze and natural play space. I was a tired bison by the end of the day, but it was worth seeing their smiles and excitement! See more photos here.

We are very thankful to the SunTrust Foundation for funding the Sunshine Learning Center as our first Buddy Bison preschool.


All trees need water, soil, and a little Sunshine

wright bros

My new friends at Sunshine Early Learning Center in Washington, DC had a Buddy Bison kick-off event to celebrate the fall and their study of trees!  I was super excited to help them get outside and enjoy nature. We sang songs about the fall and raced to collect leaves. Inside, we created neat art collages out of the leaves we found.

The tree that I helped plant will give my buddies a great place outside their school to run, play, and learn about nature.  The best kind of learning is when you get to have fun at the same time! My friends will spend the rest of the year learning and tracing the growth of the tree that we planted.  I cant wait to come back and have park adventures with them!