• 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.

Nonprofit, foundation and kids raise money for local park

National Park Trust successfully secured a grant from the 3M Foundation to provide resources for the design and construction of an outdoor classroom at the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary, an award-winning city park on the edge of downtown Saint Paul, Minnesota. These generous resources are also being matched by another substantial gift secured by the local friends group, the Lower Phalen Creek Project (LPCP) from the McNeely Foundation. In addition, 3rd-grade Buddy Bison students from the Bullis School in Potomac, Maryland -- located 1,000 miles from the sanctuary -- learned about this project from NPT and decided to designate their Pennies for Parks fund to support this project. They used their artistic talents to craft and sell 65 bracelets!

As a result of these collaborative efforts, this project will be completed in fall 2013. The grant from the 3M Foundation will also be used to bring local students from under-served schools to the sanctuary. "All of us at the Lower Phalen Creek Project are most appreciative of these critical resources, which will enable us to better serve school groups, community groups and our partners, including the National Park Service. Our partners mean the world to us and 3M and the National Park Trust are valued friends," stated Dan McGuiness, Director, LPCP.

"We are delighted to be a part of this important project that will enhance the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary and will provide hands-on learning opportunities for local students. It is wonderful to see the collaboration of non-profits, foundations and students to achieve this goal," stated Jonathan Cohen, chair of NPT's Land and Park Preservation Committee.

Located in the National Park Service’s Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, the sanctuary's towering bluffs, spring-fed wetlands and restored prairies and forests, is a place to find a snake, watch a bald eagle soar and see a great blue heron take flight, all with the downtown skyline as a backdrop. Located at a sharp curve in the Mississippi River that has attracted people for thousands of years, the sanctuary's 27 miles also is rich with cultural significance – home to a cave that is sacred to the Dakota and remnants of Saint Paul’s railroad history and earliest brewery.

Hundreds of school children visit the sanctuary each year to learn about geology, engineering, biology, American Indian science and culture and early industrial history. in 2008, thanks to the Apache Foundation, NPT provided 300 native trees for the sanctuary that were planted by local school children. NPT also provided resources to the LPCP in 2012 to launch the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary education program to create seven lessons that meet key Minnesota science and social studies benchmarks for seventh and eighth graders.

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