• 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.

 6th Annual 'Kids to Parks Day' Saturday, May 21, 2016

Family Park Events Planned Across U.S. To Kick Start 100th Birthday Celebration For The National Park Service.

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WASHINGTON, May 4, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Children, families and schools in communities across America will celebrate their local, state and national parks and public lands on Saturday, May 21st in commemoration of the 6th Annual Kids to Parks Day. National Park Trust estimates more than 600,000 people will attend park events across the country in what is fast becoming America's national day of park celebration. 

"This year's Kids to Parks Day takes on special significance as the country prepares to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service," said Grace Lee, executive director, National Park Trust.  "Kids love birthdays and they love parks, so we hope to encourage as many families and kids as possible to get outdoors for what has become a national day of play and park appreciation."

Kidstoparks.org lists park events by state and city, and features helpful downloadable tips and activity guides to help children, families and teachers plan park adventures.

Kids to Parks Day national supporters include the National Park Service, First Solar, BabyBjörn, Guest Services, Boy Scouts of America, National Association of Realtors, M&T Bank, CamelBak, and Falcon Guides.

National Park Trust's Kids to Parks Day also supports the First Lady's Let's Move! initiative, the President's Every Kid in a Park movement, and the National Park Service's Find Your Park program.  National collaborators include: America's State Parks, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Hiking Society, American Recreation Coalition, Children & Nature Network, City Parks Alliance, Eastern National, National Environmental Education Foundation, National Geographic Kids, National League of Cities, National Park Conservation Association, National Recreation and Park Association, National Wildlife Federation, Outdoors Alliance for Kids, Sierra Club, U.S Department of the Interior, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and US Play Coalition.

Kids to Parks Day is the signature event of NPT's popular Buddy Bison® School Program which teaches environmental education. Through its woolly mascot Buddy Bison, NPT encourages children to "Explore outdoors, the parks are yours!"  Eighty schools in 18 states and Washington, D.C. have participated in the Buddy Bison School Program, which provides classroom resources, lesson ideas and fully funded park trips that enhance and expand school curricula.

In 2012, NPT launched the Kids to Parks Day National School Contest. This year, NPT awarded grants to 74 schools in 27 states and Washington, D.C. benefiting more than 4,000 children, grades pre-K through 12 in Title 1 schools. The grants will help students put their ideas into action and learn, steward, and play in their local, state and national parks and public lands this month. 

Families can pledge to participate at kidstoparks.org. When they visit a park on May 21st, kids and parents are encouraged to tweet #kidstoparks and #BuddyBison or send in photos to buddy@buddybison.org. Pictures will be posted and shared online.

Last week the U.S. Senate passed a resolution in support of Kids to Parks Day introduced by Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., Cory Booker, D-N.J., Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., and Mazie K. Hirono, D-Hawaii.


National Park Trust is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to the preservation and protection of our nation's critical parks and public lands and the engagement of our youth – especially those who are under-served – with nature.







Join the conversation: @natparktrust #kidstoparks #BuddyBison


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