Buddy Bison's Buzz - February 2011

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You Asked for It! Announcing National Kids to Parks Day

Hey Kids,

I often say, “Explore outdoors, the parks are yours!” Last year, students in the Buddy Bison school program asked for a way they could help encourage other kids to play outdoors. This is it!

I am proud to announce that on and around May 21, 2011, thousands of kids across the country will be heading outside for National Kids to Parks Day! Some schools are planning field trips to local playgrounds. Many kids are asking their parents to pledge online to take them to a park.

National Kids to Parks Day is a kid-inspired, kid-driven grassroots movement, and you can tell your parents and teachers that it has been endorsed by the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). I’ve also partnered with the President’s Challenge program of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition to support the First Lady’s Let Move! initiative to get more youth and families to be active and live healthier by achieving the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA).

Starting in March, sign up on my website and commit to go to a park, forest, seashore or playground, and then you will also have access to all sorts of activities that you can do at the park.

Get out there! The parks are yours! And then make sure to send me your photos and stories when you get home from the park!

—Buddy Bison


Buddy Bison Students Invited for White House Announcement

Fifth-grader Cecily from KIPP DC: WILL Academy and Satiya, third-grader from Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Charter School, 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 (photo bottom left) and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack (photo bottom center), 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.








Skiing, Cats, and Dogs, Oh, My! Beauvoir 3rd Grade Adventures with Buddy Bison

When Beauvoir National Cathedral Elementary (Washington, DC) students take Buddy Bison home in his backpack-on-the-go, you never know what adventures he’ll have. Below, some of Beauvoir’s third-grade students detail their recent visits with Buddy Bison.

Me, Buddy Bison, mom and dad went to Charlottesville, Virginia to see nature and to ski. We stayed at a hotel and Buddy ate some grass. Then Buddy came with us to dinner and ate a lot. The next day, we woke up early to go skiing. We drove for 45 minutes. When we arrived, we got our skis and asked the rental people if Buddy could ski with us. Buddy stayed in my pocket every time we went up and down the slopes. I had lots of fun skiing with Buddy.


Me and Buddy spent a lot of time in my yard at my house. Buddy and I were looking for nature that was never seen before. We found a very spicy leaf and you will read about it in my nature journal. Buddy had a great time with me at home and got along really well with my cat.

On Sunday, my mom, Buddy and I went on a hike to the Montrose Park. When we got there, we saw a lot of dogs. We hiked down to the Rock Creek Park and back. It was fun and Buddy and I tried to climb up a rock but it did not work. When we were climbing the rocks, we saw some tents. Then we got back to the top of the park, and we saw more dogs.

Harmony Hills Student Explores Outdoors with Buddy Bison

Winter break is a marvelous time to head outside. Harmony Hills Elementary School (Silver Spring, MD) 3rd grade teacher Bethany Czaja recounts how a lucky student spent his break with Buddy Bison.

Over our Winter Break, one student was chosen to take the Buddy Backpack home and document his adventures with Buddy. This student had to make a commitment to go outside and explore during his vacation, instead of sitting inside and watching television or playing video games. Erick M. was chosen and was very excited. His older sister took him to Wheaton Regional Park, and they braved the cold temperatures to play with Buddy! His entry reads: "We went to play on the swings, and me and Buddy Bison went sliding and we had a fun day." His illustration shows their adventures together at the park!

KIPP DC: KEY Academy Student Book Reviewers

Anesia, Andrea, and Crystina, 5th grade students at KIPP DC: KEY Academy in Washington, DC, are perfecting the fine art of book reviewing and have shared their thoughts on the National Geographic Mystery Books Out of the Deep, Escape from Fear, and Valley of Death. Read Crystina’s review below and find Anesia and Andrea’s reviews in Buddy Bison’s Blog.

“Valley of Death,” a Book Review
by Crystina
The main characters in my book are Leesa and Ashley. Some of Leesa's characteristics are brave, shy, quiet, risk-taker, and courageous. Ashley's characteristics are timid speaker and brave.

The big event that causes the mystery is when members of the Unit takes Ashley because they think she is Leese.
The solution is when Leesa goes to turn herself in to the Unit, and the police actually end up capturing the 8 Unit members.

I learned that in the National Park it's wrong to kill coyotes because they are native to the park. But it's not wrong to kill burros because they are exotic species. Read More

Students ages 8-18, read below for some opportunities to win awards and scholarships to support your environmental efforts!

Teacher's Corner

Want to make a video? We are looking for students to create short videos (1-2 minutes) encouraging other kids to participate in National Kids to Parks Day on May 21. Winners will be posted on our websites and YouTube. Email Sarah@ParkTrust.org for details.

National Park Foundation’s Electronic Field Trip “Sea Change: Gulf Islands National Seashore,” will air two, live shows on March 1, 2011 at 10am and 1pm Eastern. Understand the science of change as seen daily on the barrier islands of Gulf Islands National Seashore and how the recent Gulf Oil Spill has impacted species and critical habitat. Register for the broadcast and learn more.

Action For Nature seeks applications for its 2011 International Young Eco-Hero Awards. Cash prizes available for 8 to 16 year-olds for their outstanding accomplishments in environmental advocacy, environmental health, research, or protection of the natural world. Deadline: February 28, 2011.
First-generation college students planning to major in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math can apply for $2,500 college scholarships through Edison International. Awards are renewable for up to three additional years. Deadline March 15, 2011. Learn more!

Parents Corner

Starting in March, you can pledge to take your child to a park on National Kids to Parks Day! Use May 21 as a way to take time from busy lives to visit a park and start making steps toward a more active, healthy lifestyle.

See more photos and stories from your child’s adventures with Buddy Bison in NPT’s 2010 Annual Report!

Buddy Bison wants you to visit, explore and protect our nation’s parks. Bring him along as you roam and tell everyone Where Buddy Bison’s Been!

National Park Trust / 401 East Jefferson Street, Suite 102, Rockville, MD 20850
301-279-PARK (7275) / buddybison@parktrust.org / www.buddybison.org

National Park Trust