• 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.


NPT to honor McCollum's 16 years of service with the 16th Vento Award in the
2016 Centennial Year of the National Park Service

News Rep. McCollum 113th CongressWashington, D.C. (November 23, 2015) – National Park Trust (NPT) is very pleased to announce that in 2016, the year of the Centennial of the National Park Service, Minnesota Congresswoman Betty McCollum will receive the 16th Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award. The award will be presented to the Congresswoman at a June reception in Washington, D.C. Congresswoman McCollum is a member of the House Appropriations Committee where she serves as the ranking Democrat on the Interior-Environment Subcommittee and as a member of the Defense Subcommittee.

Currently serving her 8th term, Congresswoman McCollum has represented Minnesota's 4th District since 2001 when she filled the seat once occupied by Congressman Vento. Throughout her career, her top priorities have been the protection of our environment – including clean air and water and the preservation of our national natural treasures – for the benefit of current and future generations. She has consistently voted for and supported parks, public lands, full funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and ocean conservation. A former high school teacher, the Congresswoman also is a strong advocate for excellence in education.

Congresswoman McCollum shared, "The work that Congressman Bruce Vento did to advocate for conservation and promote our nation's parks is a gift that continues to enrich our nation. Bruce Vento was also a science teacher, and I know he would be so appreciative of the work that the National Park Trust does to nurture an appreciation for the outdoors in our nation's young people. I am proud to carry on his good work and I am so grateful to be honored with this award bearing his name. We all know that there is more still to be done, and I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure that our National Parks are preserved and protected for another 100 years."

"Bruce and I were privileged to be represented by Betty McCollum during her public service in the Minnesota House," stated Sue Vento, who serves on NPT's Leadership Council. "I know that Bruce would applaud her great work in the U.S. House and NPT for honoring such a deserving, hard-working and wise leader. Mr. Vento, as he was called by his junior high students, would give Representative McCollum an A+ for her extraordinary work on behalf of our treasured parks and environment as well as her work to expand opportunities for kids and their families to experience the great outdoors!"

According to NPT Board Chair Bill Brownell, "We are delighted to honor Congresswoman Betty McCollum's 16 years of service during the 2016 Centennial Year of the National Park Service. As a champion of our country's parks and treasured landscapes and a strong supporter of excellence in education, her passions and accomplishments closely align with the mission and vision of the National Park Trust."

NPT established the Vento Award in 2000 to honor the memory and legacy of Bruce F. Vento, a twelve-term Congressman from Minnesota, dedicated environmentalist and a champion of legislation for America's parks. The Award honors a public servant for his or her commitment to the environment, and his service, skill and innovation in support of our public lands. Past recipients include Senator Rob Portman (OH), Senator Ron Wyden (OR), Congressman Mike Simpson (ID), Senator Mark Udall (CO), Senator Susan Collins (ME), Senator Jeff Bingaman (NM), Senator John McCain (AZ), Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (CA), Congressman George Miller (CA), and Senator Harry Reid (NV). All proceeds from the event benefit NPT's park preservation and youth programs.

National Park Trust is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving parks today and creating park stewards for tomorrow. As people spend more time indoors and as successive generations grow up with less of a connection to nature, NPT is building a greater awareness and appreciation for the importance of our country's public lands and parks. More details about NPT's programs and this award can be found at www.parktrust.org.

Press Contact: Grace Lee, NPT Executive Director at grace@parktrust.org or 301-706-3407.

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