• 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.


Join the conversation: @natparktrust #kidstoparks


Washington, D.C., May 5, 2015 – Children, families and schools in communities across America will celebrate their local, state and national parks and public lands on Saturday, May 16th in commemoration of the 5th Annual Kids to Parks Day. National Park Trust estimates more than 500,000 people will attend park events across the country in what is fast becoming America's national day of play.

National Park Trust (NPT) launched kidstoparks.org where park events are listed by state and city, and the website features helpful downloadable tips and activity guides to help children, families and teachers plan park adventures. Those who pledge to participate at the site will also have a chance to win a grand prize, a Nikon COOLPIX L830 camera.

"Five years ago, NPT launched this grass roots movement to encourage families to discover and celebrate our country's parks and public lands and water. Families, schools, park officials and elected officials have embraced this fun event – a national day of outdoor play – and it is fast becoming America's unofficial kick off to summer," said Grace Lee, executive director, National Park Trust.

"This year's Kids to Parks Day takes on special significance as the National Park Service prepares to celebrate its milestone Centennial celebration in 2016 and recently launched its Find Your Park campaign. We hope families across America will use Kids to Parks Day as a great reason to celebrate our National Parks and connect with favorite parks and public lands," added Lee.

National Park Trust's Kids to Parks Day is in support of the First Lady's Let's Move! Initiative, which is also celebrating its 5th year anniversary. NPT collaborators include: the National League of Cities, America's State Parks, American Academy of Pediatrics, National Park Service, National Recreation and Park Association, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Boy Scouts of America, US Play Coalition, National Geographic Kids, American Hiking Society, Children & Nature Network, National Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club, Outdoors Alliance for Kids, National Environmental Education Foundation, City Parks Alliance, and American Recreation 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!" Sixty 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 scholarships to 51 schools in 28 states benefiting 3277children, grades pre-K through 12 in Title 1 schools. The scholarships will help students put their ideas into action and visit, 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 16th, kids and parents are encouraged to tweet #kidstoparks or send in photos to buddy@buddybison.org. Pictures will be posted and shared online.

Sponsors for Kids to Parks Day include First Solar Corporate Charitable Fund of the Toledo Community Foundation, Prudential Financial, Inc., Booz Allen Hamilton, Guest Services, Inc., and CamelBak.

The U.S. Senate recently introduced a resolution in support of Kids to Parks Day.


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 underserved – with nature. As people spend more time indoors and as successive generations grow up with less of a connection to nature, NPT wants everyone to have an American park experience. To achieve this, NPT is preserving parks today and creating park stewards for tomorrow (parktrust.org; kidstoparks.org).

Media Contact: Olwen Pongrace, 202.253.3190, olwen@parktrust.org



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