• Thanks to your support, 2016 was a record-breaking year for Kids to Parks Day! Watch our KTP Day 2016 summary video.​

    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 Director of Youth Programs.

Kids to Parks Day (KTP) is an annual nationwide day of play organized by National Park Trust (NPT). The goal is to engage kids across the country with parks and public lands to promote environmental stewardship and healthy outdoor living. At the heart of the initiative is Buddy Bison, NPT’s mascot whose message to children and their families is to “Explore outdoors, the parks are yours!”

Equally important, this national grassroots initiative has been designed to help teachers, especially those in underserved communities, to introduce parks and public lands to their students and their families. KTP Day offers students from urban and rural communities the opportunity to participate in hands-on environmental education, while providing health and wellness through outdoor recreation.

Below is Kids to Parks Day 2013 by the numbers:

• 418,000 online media hits (121% increase over 2012)
• More than 139,000 participants (28% increase)
• 306 mayors in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. issued proclamations (17% increase)
• 10 Governors proclaimed May 18 as KTP Day (AR, CO, FL, MD, MI, MO, TX, VT, WV, WY)
• America’s state parks in 14 states hosted events at more than 186 parks (133% increase)
• Senate resolution passed – Introduced by Senator Mark Udall (D-CO)
              o Co-sponsored by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Senator Rob Portman (R-OH)
• 367 park events were registered on www.kidstoparks.org (46% increase)

Classroom Contest

This year NPT sponsored the third annual national classroom contest encouraging children to create their own KTP Day event. The three main goals for the contest are:

• To engage children with the health and wellness benefits of outdoor park recreation
• To teach students about the unique science, history etc. about the park
• To inspire a generation of conservation leaders and stewards that will take action to protect their parks

Winning schools are awarded scholarships to implement their park trips; each scholarship includes transportation funds. More than 70% of this year's contest winners qualify for free or reduced-price lunch.

NPT is pleased this year to award 43 schools with park scholarships that will benefit 3,200 students, grades preK through 12, representing 29 states. For a full list of contest winners click here.

 Kids to Parks Day is officially in support of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative, engaging hundreds of Let’s Move Cities and Towns each year.


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