Buddy Bison's Buzz - July 2013

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Can you guess this park?
Photo Credit: HILL Art Group

Fourth of July festivities may be over, but the memories and history that created our nation is still preserved at many of our national parks. I recently visited one of these famous sites where Ranger Scott Sheads spoke about the historic day that inspired Francis Scott Key to write our national anthem, the Star-Spangled Banner, as our soldiers battled the British for our country’s independence (Can you guess what park I visited?). I was so fascinated by the story that I decided to make my own list of places that bring you back in time to Independence Day and the Revolutionary War. Click here to see the list.

And don't forget to “explore outdoors, the parks are yours!”

Your friend,
Buddy Bison

Three New Buddy Bison Schools

We were excited to welcome three new schools into my outdoor education program this spring. Have you heard about my school program? Learn more here.

Abramson Elementary School in New Orleans, LA visited Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. They participated in the 2013 BioBlitz and helped count/catalog the animals, insects, and plants they found. Who knows, we may have even helped to find a new species!

Walter V. Long Elementary School in Las Vegas, NV explored the Lake Mead National Recreation Area by lake and by land. We traveled on a replica steam paddle boat and learned about the unique desert lake habitat.

Coyote Canyon Elementary School in Bullhead City, AZ hiked the dunes at Mojave National Preserve and explored the Kelso Depot Visitor Center. We learned from rangers about how the dunes were formed and how plants and animals are adapted to the desert climate.

All three schools are supported through a generous grant from the Caesars Foundation. Thank you Caesars’ HERO volunteers for helping us!

Abramson Elementary students at BioBlitz 2013 in Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve.

Walter V. Long 2nd graders on a replica steam paddle boat at Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

Mojave National Preserve Ranger Linda Slater leading 3rd graders from Coyote Canyon Elementary on a dune hike.

Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School

Wild and Wonderful in West Virginia

Elementary school students from Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School, D.C. (above and lower left) celebrated National Kids to Parks Day at For Love of Children’s (FLOC) Outdoor Education Center (OEC) in Harpers Ferry, WV. We hiked, participated in team-building activities, and learned about the local flora and fauna and the seven principles of Leave No Trace outdoor ethics. Later in the day, the students trekked to the creek to study different macro invertebrates and environmental impacts that affect our woodland inhabitants. What a cool way to celebrate National Kids to Parks Day! Click here to see photos from the day.

Thank you to The Meltzer Group for sponsoring this day and to Chris Rief for coming all the way from Raleigh, North Carolina to photograph our experiences!

Then my middle school friends from St. Ignatius Loyola Academy, MD (lower right) had an overnight adventure at the OEC. During our three-day adventure together, we went canoeing on the Shenandoah River, climbed the high ropes course, and learned about the Civil War at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. Click here to see more pictures from the trip.

“I loved when we went canoeing. Even though it was a six mile journey, I loved feeling the cold water in my hands and the hot sun on my back.” stated Beluolisah.

Thank you to the Rocksprings Foundation for funding this trip for the past four years!

Buddy Bison is Chesapeake’s Newest “Staff Member”

Last week I found a new home, away from the prairie, at the National Park Service Chesapeake Bay office in Annapolis, MD. I love the way they described me - “cute, warm, and fuzzy, and a terrific traveling companion.”

As their newest staff member, they took me out to visit the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail and the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. I even got to go back to Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, but this time I saw the fort from the water! They promised to take me all over the Chesapeake Bay this summer; stay tuned to read more about my adventures.

Parent's and Teacher's Corner:

Get out and go!

Summer is a great time to get your kids outside and moving – there are hundreds of parks across the country with free, educational activities ready for you to enjoy! Get your own Buddy Bison then head out with your family to visit one of our great parks and send us photos from your adventures. There are over 400 national parks, more than 6,000 state parks and countless county and local public spaces. Find one to explore today.

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Our mailing address is:
401 E. Jefferson Street, Suite 203, Rockville, MD, 20850