• 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.




Two Buddy Bison students – Chellseas from KIPP DC: WILL Academy and Etni from Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School – joined students accompanying First Lady Michelle Obama during the Centennial Tree Planting Ceremony in Washington, DC. The ceremony honored the 100th anniversary of the planting of the first two of 3,000 cherry blossom trees given to the United States as a gift from the city of Tokyo, Japan. The First Lady was joined by other distinguished guests, including His Excellency Ichiro Fujisaki – Ambassador of Japan to the United States, Fujiko Hara – granddaughter of Tokyo's former Mayor Ozaki, who gifted the original trees, and William H. Taft, IV – great-grandson of President Taft, who was in office when the trees were given to the United States. Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar was also in attendance and acknowledged the National Park Service's work to maintain the health of the cherry blossom trees throughout the years.

The First Lady stated that the trees "serve as a great symbol of the shared friendship between the United States and Japan and a symbol of our hope and aspirations." On the historic anniversary, she also spoke of our country's admiration for the beauty and resilience of the trees just as we admire the resilience of the Japanese people and their courage and grace as they rebuild their nation. (Group photo credit: Tami Heilemann)

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