• 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.

JULY 2011

Two Buddy Bison Students Impress a U.S. Senator

Recently, National Park Trust had a big party to give Senator Susan Collins an award for all she has done to help parks. The Senator is from Maine, the home of Acadia National Park. Two of my friends, Brianna  and Wrayzene, sixth graders at KIPP WILL Academy in Washington, D.C., talked about the Buddy Bison program at their school.

Brianna talked about her National Kids to Parks Day adventures, “With the Buddy Bison program I went on a hike with my mom and my aunt. We went to the Mason Neck State Park and learned how to read maps and how to survive in the wilderness. We even met Big Foot who taught us not to leave any trash behind. The hike gave my family and me, the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors more and to take every opportunity to exercise.  Now, I keep Buddy Bison near me to remind me to explore all of our beautiful parks. “

Wrayzene said. “ Buddy Bison has done so much for me, like letting me go on trips and learning important things that I never imagined I would have the chance to know about.” She also talked about how much she enjoyed reading the National Geographic Mystery Series which is included in the Buddy Bison Toolkit and getting to meet the authors in a Skype interview, as well as her experiences canoeing on the Anacostia River and other field trips. Wrayzene summed up her experience, “ I really love all that Buddy Bison has done for me and I wish to do more with him and give back to my community and the environment.“

Brianna and Wrayzene gave Senator Collins her very own Buddy Bison and she loved it. The Senator even said she would introduce me, Buddy Bison to Minnie Moose from Maine! It’s enough to make a Bison blush.

Watch the video of Brianna and Wrayzene's speeches!


Authors Teach KIPP DC WILL Academy Students about Parks

Students in the Buddy Bison program learn about national parks through Gloria Skurzynski and Alane Ferguson's National Geographic Mystery Books. Fifth graders from KIPP DC WILL Academy recently interviewed the authors via Skype. Here's what Cara-Lynn and Kristionie thought about the interview!

Written by Cara-Lynn;

It was a great experience to interview Gloria Skurzynski and Alane Ferguson. When my class interviewed them we found out about interesting things like how they write books together even though they both live in different places. We also learned what inspired them to write new stories. For example, Alane Ferguson said that what inspired her to become an author was watching her mother write children's books. We also learned that Mrs. Gloria Skurzynski has written many other interesting books. (Our class is excited to get some of these books!).

The class learned from the authors’ books, and our chat with them encouraged us to go out and visit all the national parks there are out there. I want to visit the parks just like the authors did and research about all the animals that live on each! They really convinced me that reading is a great hobby because there is so much to learn and write about. I want to say thank you to them!

Written by Kristionie:

Hi my name is Kristionie, and I want to tell you about the two amazing authors my class interviewed using SKYPE. (Cool, huh?) After reading a mystery series all taking place at different national parks, we interviewed authors Gloria Skurzynski and Alane Ferguson. I am so happy I had the opportunity to meet them and ask them my favorite questions.  My favorite part was when Mrs. Gloria told us about all the awards she has won. She told us how she won a chair as an award one time!

They really inspired me to read more and about many kinds of subjects. I am also thinking of changing my career from a scientist to a science and environmental author. By the way, I’m still reading the authors’ books and hope I can ask them even more questions! Thank you!



Buddy Bison Students Invited for White House Announcement

Fifth-grader Cecily from KIPPDC: WILLAcademyand Satiya, third-grader whitehouse1fromElsieWhitlowStokesCommunityFreedomCharterSchool, were lucky enough to be invited for a big “America’s Great Outdoors” announcement this month at the White House!

They got to be right there to see President Obama announce the Administration’s plan to connect all Americans—but especially kids—with our parks and public lands. The president especially wants communities to become involved in keeping local land and water clean.

Cecily and Satiya also met Senator John Warner and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, and even spent some time sharing their environmental views with Administrator Lisa Jackson from the Environmental Protection Agency! You also can watch a video of the announcement yourself and hear about how the President needs your help to continue protecting our parks and public lands.

 whitehouse2  whitehouse3



Anacostia River is Launching Point for a Week of Outdoor Fun

Buddy Bison’s friends from Wilderness Inquiry inMinnesotatraveled with their canoes to provide an urban wilderness canoe adventure to kids who live near and along theAnacostiaRiverinWashington,D.C.From Saturday November 13 to Thursday, November 18, students from Buddy Bisonschools KIPP D.C. WILL and KEY Academies (Washington, DC), Washington Latin Public Charter School (Washington, DC) , Jefferson Houston Elementary School(Alexandria, VA), Stokes School (Washington, DC), andE.L.HaynesPublicCharterSchool (Washington,DC) took their woolly friend out on the river as they learned more about the Anacostia in five hand-made Voyageur canoes.

Anesia from KIPPDC, KEYAcademywrote, On Saturday we went canoeing. We learned what pollution is and how to stop it. When we went I noticed a lot of trash (a.k.a. pollution) in the river. Me and the people on my canoe tried to help by picking it up. When we went we saw Buddy Bison. He is brown and looks like a bull. He is nice and respectful. I had a great time with my friends and kids from WILLAcademy, and they were respectful and nice.

The week of canoe trips was designated as a Let’s Move Outside event by First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let's Move initiative! Learn how you can move outside!


WashingtonLatin Public Charter School, KIPP D.C. WILL Academy, and E.W. Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School Hit the Trails

The North Face’s Planet Explore invited kids and families out to hike Maryland and Virginia Trails last month—and the hike taken by many of our Buddy Bison students was featured on First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move blog!

All told, about 90 Washington Latin Public Charter School, KIPP D.C. WILL Academy, and E.W. Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School students and their families hiked a beautiful trail at Seneca Creek State Park. As one E.W. Stokes parent said, “the weekend was awesome! Beautiful location, beautiful lake, beautiful Stokes scholars, parents, siblings, extended family, staff, and board members. This is what it should all be about.”