NPT News March 2011

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NPT News

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

As we bustle through our morning routines, coffee on, shuffling to grab the paper on the stoop, there comes time for a moment's pause. Even with the door just ajar, nature is sending a message. Brisk morning air is not quite so brisk. Blooms and green shoots jut from fallow ground. All around, birds chirp the cheerful news: Spring is here! Time to explore.

As you head out into nature this spring, remember National Park Trust. We've continued working hard to protect our public lands for the future and connect young people with our nation's parks today. Help us preserve this land, and with it, the thrill of spring for years and seasons to come by supporting NPT. Then, please, head out to enjoy our parks. They're yours.

Join the Movement for National Kids to Parks Day

NPT’s initiative to move kids outdoors, National Kids to Parks Day, is picking up momentum. Just a few weeks ago, NPT launched an online form for adults nationwide to sign-up to take the children in their lives to a park on May 21. Already, over 1450 kids are committed to visit parks for National Kids to Parks Day.

Currently, more than sixty mayors involved with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Cities and Towns have proclaimed National Kids to Parks Day in their communities. These mayors recognize that National Kids to Parks Day is an easy and fun way to draw crowds to local parks and recreation areas. Some cities are even planning large events on local park grounds to get kids in their cities outdoors and active on May 21. If your own community does not yet appear on this growing list of participating cities, contact your city hall.

NPT has also been thrilled by the support we’ve received from collaborative partners, including: America’s State Parks, American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), National Education Association (NEA), Children’s National Medical Center, Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of the USA, US Army Corps of Engineers, and Children & Nature Network, as well as partnering with the President’s Challenge program in support of the First Lady’s Let Move Outside! initiative to get more youth and families to be active and live healthier by achieving the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA).

NPT has also been thankful to receive early support from sponsors The North Face and Safeway Foundation. Others interested in sponsoring National Kids to Parks Day can do so by contacting Shana Newman Fajardo.

If you haven’t signed-up, do it now, and help our numbers grow. Let the child in your life be part of a movement to show the nation that parks matter!

NPT to Help Protect Significant Inholding in Glacier National Park

Montana’s Glacier National Park is one of the iconic parks within the National Park System.  NPT is teaming up with the Trust for Public Land to protect the second largest remaining privately held property in Glacier and the last remaining one along the federally designated Wild and Scenic Middle Fork of the Flathead River, where 30,000 rafters float each year.

Park superintendents have been actively trying to purchase the 120-acre parcel for 40 years, making the property a top priority for the park. The project made it into the President’s FY12 budget, which is a key step to making Land and Water Conservation Funds available for its acquisition.

Many conservation agencies are working in the Glacier region with the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem project. The parcel sits almost in the center of this ecosystem, which is one of the premier mountain ecoregions of the world and an integral part of the much larger mountainous landscape Yellowstone to Yukon. The parcel is surrounded on all sides by protected lands, including the proposed wilderness areas to the north and south.  Protecting the parcel will provide the National Park Service a continuity of habitat for elk, wolves, and the federally listed grizzly bear and Canada lynx. 

To support our efforts to protect this property, please contact Shana Newman Fajardo at

Fight to Protect LWCF Funding Continues

As budget negotiations continue in the nation’s capitol, NPT is urging the President and the Senate to support full funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund.  A recently passed House continuing resolution virtually eliminates LWCF, while the President’s FY12 budget includes full funding of LWCF at $900 million to protect working forests and ranches, hunting and fishing access, state and local conservation grants, and critical needs within our National Parks, Forests, and Wildlife Refuges. NPT is part of the Land and Water Conservation Fund Coalition, made up of 63 conservation organizations working to ensure that LWCF remains a viable resource for conservation. 

LWCF was created in 1965 as a way to offset environmental impact from offshore oil and gas drilling by using a small percentage of those drilling receipts (not taxpayer dollars) to create a fund for local, state and national conservation in parks, forests and wildlife areas. Throughout its history, LWCF has enjoyed bi-partisan support. Cutting funds, which are specifically designated for LWCF, represents an unprecedented departure from the nation’s commitment to land and water conservation.

You can help by contacting the President and your Senators asking them to support LWCF. Find out how.

National Park Week: Healthy Parks, Healthy People

Looking for a chance to alleviate stress and unwind? Perhaps you need to break a sweat and burn those extra winter pounds. America’s National Parks may be what you’ve been looking for.

The growing connection between public lands and public health is the focus of National Park Week, April 16-24. Entrance to all National Parks is free throughout the week.

“National parks have always been great places to go on vacation, have fun, and learn something, but for millions of Americans national parks are also a daily part of a healthy lifestyle,” National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said.   “If you’ve never thought of your national parks that way, we’d like to invite you to come out to see how parks can help you meet your fitness goals.  Getting outside and moving is the first step.”

Plan your visit or learn more about National Park week.

Richard Lodish Named NPT Education Chair

NPT is pleased to announce that Richard Lodish, Lower School principal and associate headmaster of the Sidwell Friends School, has been named Education Chair for NPT’s Board. Published widely on educational matters including articles in the Washington Post and the New York Times, he holds a doctorate from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. Rich previously taught in the Cleveland Public Schools, at Catholic, Tufts and John Hopkins Universities. He has served as consultant to the U.S. Department of Education, the World Bank, the State Department, and was an Education Policy Fellow at the Institute for Educational Leadership. Having received a National Distinguished Principal Award from the U.S. Department of Education in 1993, he has been a consultant in Beijing, China, where he helped to establish a bilingual, intercultural school and in South Korea where he consulted on building a framework for kindergartens. He recently completed a one-year sabbatical as the founding Head of a charter school based on service learning sponsored by the East Bay Conservation Corps in Oakland, CA.. Rich has served on many educational advisory boards including the Walt Disney American Teacher Awards. Rich is also the author of a A Child in the Principal's Office: Laughing and Learning in the Schoolhouse, recently published in China and Taiwan.

“Rich has long been a strong voice for the value of outdoor education on our Board, and we are so pleased to acknowledge his leadership as we continue to grow and strengthen our Buddy Bison school program,” said Grace Lee, NPT’s Executive Director. “His wealth of experience will serve us well, as our programming reaches more students and connects more classrooms to the great outdoors.”

“I’ve always been proud to serve on NPT’s Board,” commented Lodish. “Recognizing the impact that the Buddy Bison program has already had in the lives of so many children—especially those who are underserved—I look ahead to bolstering the offerings we provide to teachers and creating evermore engaging and memorable learning experiences for the youth we serve.”

New Mexico Parks and Trails Equal Wellness

Senator Tom Udall (NM) recently posted a video online highlighting two ways the National Park Service has worked with local organizations and individuals to create opportunities for wellness through outdoor physical activity. The city of Cuba, New Mexico’s “Step into Cuba” program emphasizes physical exercise—through trail-building and hiking—as preventive care that encourages healthy lifestyles. Albuquerque physicians have teamed up with the park service to give patients “Prescription Trails.” With a nudge from their doctors and a prescription in hand, many people who otherwise would not have adopted a walking program for fitness, are doing so and sticking with it as they explore their local parks.

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