• 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 accomplishments thanks to your generous support!​

    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 Director of Youth Programs.

After 16 days of government shutdown, the barriers at our national parks are down. With the government now open for business, the 715,000 park visitors that were being turned away daily can now enter and enjoy our national parks. This caused a loss of about $450,000 in direct revenue for NPS.

As visitors were turned away and NPS lost out on revenue, so did the local economies. Many of the local economies have been built around the national park in their area. According to the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees (CNPSR), $76 million in visitor spending was lost each day visitors were turned away.

CNPSR Chair Maureen Finnerty, former superintendent of Everglades and Olympic National Parks, was quoted in a CNPSR press release from October 10th saying, “These figures are mind boggling and they only begin to capture the full economic shock of locking up the crown jewels of America – our national parks. Towns, cities, and even whole states that depend on park tourism are feeling an increasingly strong pinch. And if Congress continues to hold our national parks hostage, these communities will soon be reeling from what is in many cases the main driver of their economies.”

Each fall we kick off our Buddy Bison environmental education program in 44 schools across the country. These programs are designed to enhance their science and history curriculum and outdoor recreation programs. We had trips planned for our students in Washington, D.C. at the U.S. National Aboretum, Anacostia Park canoeing on the Anacostia River, and National Fossil Day at the Smithsonian and the National Mall. The cancellation of Fossil Day not only prevented our trip, but it also postponed the shipment and unveiling of Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton, named Wankel T. Rex, at the Museum of Natural History. Our students and the public will now have to wait to see the skeleton that is over 66 million years old. Only our Anacostia River trip was not cancelled since we were able to move our students to the Bladensburg Waterfront Park in Prince George’s County, MD.

The shutdown prevented some of our students from having national park experiences. Were you unable to visit a national park or federal public land? Tell us on Facebook.