NPT News November 2010

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NPT News on the American Park Experience

Mission: To champion the acquisition and preservation of America's critical parklands
through education, partnerships, and community building.

Dear: Visitor

This month we turn to family and give thanks for all the blessings that touch our lives. At NPT we are so deeply thankful for our friends who support us in our work everyday, and constantly remind us that our work is valuable and is making a lasting difference.  As we gather round the table this year, all of you will be in our thoughts as we consider how much we’ve been able to accomplish this year, with your support.

Looking ahead to 2011, we know that ongoing contributions to NPT are what will sustain us as we advance our deep commitment to land preservation and grow our educational programming. Last fiscal year, 82% of our budget went directly to programming—we keep overhead lean at NPT so that your dollars go farther toward supporting our mission. Please also keep in mind that for 2010 there is a waiver of the personal exemption phase-out and limitations on itemized deductions, which means that no matter how significant your adjusted gross income may be, your charitable contributions will be fully deductible. The waiver is for 2010 only—so now is the perfect time to make a charitable donation to National Park Trust.

Thank you for all of your assistance this year and for being part of the NPT family.

Secretary Ken Salazar to Receive NPT's American Park Experience Award

Save the Date On December 9, Noon – 2PM, Secretary Ken Salazar will accept National Park Trust’s American Park Experience Award at a reception at DAR’s O’Byrne Gallery, in Washington, D.C. Secretary Salazar will be honored for his outstanding conservation record and for his extraordinary commitment to engaging, educating and employing young people from all backgrounds in our nation’s public lands.

The American Park Experience Award was established in 2009 to recognize an individual or group that has made outstanding contributions to enhance the awareness and appreciation of our nation's parks, wildlife refuges, and historic landmarks. Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan were the first co-recipients of this award.

To sponsor the event or for ticket information, contact Shana Newman Fajardo at 301.279.7275, ext. 15 or All proceeds benefit NPT’s Youth to Parks National Scholarship and the Where’s Buddy Bison Been?® school program.


National Park Trust Celebrates Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve

TallgrassNPT Board members Bill Brownell and Chuck Knauss traveled to Kansas on November 12 to join Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson, Senator Sam Brownback and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius to break ground on a new visitor center and administrative buildings at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve. In 1994, NPT preserved the 10,894-acre Z Bar Ranch making this a uniquely public and privately owned national park—what later became the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve.

“This new visitor center will help conserve and educate Americans about the tallgrass prairie and America’s Great Outdoors while creating good jobs here in Kansas,” Secretary Salazar said. “The facility will open a window to the expansive rolling hills and wide-open vistas that once covered 140 million acres of North America.”

The project is the result of a partnership including the federal government, the State of Kansas, the Kansas Department of Transportation, The Nature Conservatory, and the Kansas Park Trust. The National Park Service and the Kansas Department of Transportation will equally share the cost of the $6 million project, which will be completed in early 2012. Salazar also thanked the National Park Trust for donating the historic buildings and land in 2002 needed for developing the visitor center and related facilities.

Salazar noted that partnerships such as the one at the preserve are at the heart of President Obama’s America's Great Outdoors initiative to create a new conservation ethic for the 21st century and to reconnect Americans to the great outdoors.

Bill Brownell commented, “NPT is pleased to provide a working model for land conservation. Through partnership and years’ long efforts, we’ve been a pivotal part in preserving this important and scenic stretch of Kansas land.” Read the National Park Service press release.

Take Action! Senate Still Has Time to Fully Fund LWCF

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is a bipartisan program that benefits communities in every state and every Congressional district. A host of issues will be competing for very limited time in the upcoming lame-duck session, but its real, bipartisan support separates it from the flood of proposals before the 111th Congress. Contact your senators in support of LWCF.

Full and permanent funding of LWCF would ensure the protection of some of America’s most important natural areas, from National Parks, historic sites and battlefields, to state and local parks, ranches, forests and wildlife refuges. The fund uses revenue from offshore oil and gas leases to invest in and preserve land and waterways. LWCF is supposed to receive $900 million per year -- a drop in the bucket of offshore revenues that typically tally over $5 billion -- but each year Congress has diverted much of the LWCF revenue to other purposes. Recent national bipartisan polling shows overwhelming support (86% of voters) for the continued use of offshore oil and gas fees for land and water protection through full funding of the LWCF. National Park Trust supports passage of permanent funding for LWCF as part of the LWCF Coalition.

Officer Mariea Clowers and Steely Dan – New Buddy Bison Ambassadors

Steely Dan—a retired race horse, not the 70’s rock band—has the good fortune to work side-by-side with Mariea Clowers, a US Park Police Officer with 20 years of service under her belt and recent recipient of the Public Service Recognition Award from the Women in Federal Law Enforcement Association. NPT is excited to report that Officer Mariea and Steely Dan have become Buddy Bison Ambassadors!

Already, Officer Mariea and Steely Dan have visited with students at Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School (DC), E.L. Haynes Elementary School (DC) and, in a solo appearance, Officer Mariea spoke with students at our newest Buddy Bison school, Harmony Hills Elementary School (MD). All of the students have either blogged or written letters directly to Mariea. “She is a natural with kids! The teachers loved it too!” said Harmony Hills third grade teacher Bethany Czaja.

Mariea said, “I am honored to be an Ambassador in the Buddy Bison Program.  As a child, I spent a lot of my time in the National Parks and decided that I wanted a career with the National Park Service.  So I combined my love of horses and desire to work in the parks and joined the U.S. Park Police and became a Mounted Patrol officer 20 years ago.  It is a wonderful way to help the community and encourage people to come out and enjoy the park."

NPT Welcomes Buddy Bison Ambassador Mark Jenkins

NPT is pleased to welcome celebrity trainer and community activist, Mark Jenkins as one of its newest Buddy Bison Ambassadors. Mark’s clients include stars like Mary J. Blige, Brandy, and LL Cool J—and now, students in NPT’s Buddy Bison program.

As Spokesperson for the United Way’s Fun Fly and Fit program and Founder of I M Fit, Mark is leading the cause in bringing attention to childhood obesity prevention and treatment. I M Fit was founded by Mark and Nadia Jenkins to empower children, families and communities with knowledge, skills and spirit to take responsibility for their own health and wellness. Mark says, “National Park Trust’s Buddy Bison is really making a difference in our community by encouraging young people to breathe fresh air, which is an important step in getting our youth active.”


Turn the Page to Explore 2011 with NPT and Buddy Bison

Soon all of us will go through the annual ritual of taking down our old calendar and tacking up one for the new year. Spend 2011 flipping through NPT’s ambitious conservation projects and tracking Buddy Bison’s travels throughout our parks and public lands. Order your 2011 calendar! All the proceeds benefit NPT’s land preservation work and Youth to Parks National Scholarship program.

Buddy Bison is the Gift that Brings Parks Home to Your Family

bb.jpgConsider gifting an NPT membership to your favorite "Buddy" this holiday season. Not only will your loved ones receive their own Buddy Bison to take with them as they explore our nation's parks, they will also receive NPT's many great membership benefits including: NPT's annual report, calendar and invitations to NPT's special events.

Is your loved one already an NPT member? Make a special gift in their honor in an amount that is significant to you ($25, $50, $100, $500) and show them your commitment to ensure that everyone have an American park experience. Contact Shana Newman Fajardo today to ensure that your memberships and gifts are sent before the holidays!

Buddy Bison Wraps Up a BUSY Month

Buddy Bison’s recent calendar revealed a bison on a mission! As kids got back to school, Buddy Bison was there to welcome students and remind them that no matter what the season, the great outdoors are theirs to explore. Here’s a run-down of Buddy Bison’s busy days:

  • stokes_bullis.jpgSister Buddy Bison schools the Bullis School (MD) and Stokes School (DC) met at Black Hills Regional Park for a day of outdoor learning. Students from Bullis fundraised for the trip and invited their new Buddy Bison buddies along for the day. All participated in a hike and pontoon boat ride during which they learned about the park and its plants and animals.


  • fossil_find.jpgNPT joined forces with the Smithsonian and National Park Service to host the first ever National Fossil Day signature event on the National Mall. Buddy Bison welcomed back students from Washington Latin Public Charter School (DC), St. Ignatius Loyola Academy (MD), and Stokes School (DC) and greeted two new schools Jefferson-Houston Elementary School (VA) and Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy (VA). Throughout the day, kids found fossils, created plaster casts from shells and stones and learned from archaeologists and paleontologists in the National Museum of Natural History. National Park Foundation generously provided funding for transportation for the schools. See a feature in the Washington Post.


  • Buddy Bison welcomed South Lake Tahoe’s Sierra House Elementary School (CA) to the program with an outdoor adventure at Tahoe Paradise Park, fifth grade students planted willows, studied native birds, tested water quality and identified macroinvertebrates as part of U.S. Forest Service and Tahoe Resource Conservation District’s Wonders of Water program. All of this was covered in the Tahoe Daily Tribune—and was again applauded a week later in a letter to the editor! Thank you Harrah’s Entertainment and Harrah’s Foundation for providing financial support for the program—and for Harrah’s employees for volunteering your time!



  • DSCN4516.JPGBuddy Bison teamed up with celebrity personal trainer and new Buddy Bison Ambassador Mark Jenkins and Nadia Bey of I M Fit to bring students from Stokes School (DC) to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Patuxent Research Refuge. The kids explored interactive exhibits, howled like wolves, played migration games and got active with Mark.


  • wyoming.jpgFor many people, Grand Teton National Park is the center of wonder. On November 1, NPT partnered with Jackson, WY nonprofit Center of Wonder, AmeriCorps volunteers at Teton Science School and other local nature and arts focused nonprofits to celebrate the Park. Public grade school students spent a no-school day hiking, taking a nature photo expedition and even met Buddy Bison Ambassador Shelton Johnson (who was feature on Oprah this month!) via Skype. The day was designated in support of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Outside initiative. Read NPT’s contribution to the Let’s Move blog!


Shoe Crush Heels Give NPT a Boost

shoe_party.jpgMost of us wear hiking boots to trek through the National Parks, but a recent event hosted by NPT Board member and philanthropist Siobhan Davenport and Buddy Bison Ambassador Ione Jamison proved high fashion and very high heels are the way to make strides for our National Parks. Online boutique owner Lesley Elliott of New York City’s raised funds and awareness for NPT by offering a portion of every sale to go toward a spring break trip to Harper’s Ferry and the Appalachian Trail for Baltimore youth. In the midst of elegant revelry, eighth grade students from St. Ignatius Loyola Academy (MD) shared a few words about how NPT’s Buddy Bison program has impacted their lives. Washington TBD TV’s DC on Heels covered the evening’s efforts to shop for the cause. (Photo left: Ione Jamison, Siobhan Davenport and Lesley Elliott and eighth grade friends)

Bear Naked and Stretch Island Fruit Give NPT Healthy Options

bear nakedBuddy Bison says, “Explore Outdoors the Parks are Yours!” But before you grab your backpack and boots, consider bringing a healthy snack to keep you energized along the way!

Thanks to the wonderful team at Bear Naked and Stretch Island Fruit Co. hundreds of our Buddy Bison students have been able to explore the outdoors and learn about making healthy food choices before they venture out into our parks. (Photo right: students at Fossil Day enjoying Fruit Strips)

We are thrilled to be teaming up with companies who have an appreciation and passion for using pure and simple ingredients while nurturing the environment.  

National Park Trust / 401 E. Jefferson Street, Suite 102 / Rockville, MD 20850 / Email: /