• 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.

Water and a Little Sunshine!



 Watering plants at the Washington Youth Garden.   Tasting beans in the garden.

 With the support of SunTrust Foundation, 50 preschool students from Sunshine Early Learning Center explored the U.S. National Arboretum. Throughout the day they experienced the many different areas of the Arboretum including the Fern Valley, Youth Garden, and the Capitol Columns.

The programs at the Youth Garden connected garden science, with songs and movement about bees. Children had the opportunity to use trowels, water vegetables, and hold worms. There were great conversations as children picked and tasted in the garden, "I like it!," "I don't like it!," and "Yum... that's sweet." The connection with nature encouraged children to eat foods they otherwise might have turned down. 

NPT Board member Fred Walls who attended the trip noted, “Experiencing the outdoors with the children and seeing their eyes light up with discovery is what it (Buddy Bison) is all about. I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute and participate in such a rewarding activity.”

Thanks to SunTrust Foundation, Sunshine Early Learning Center was welcomed as the first preschool in the Buddy Bison program in 2012. Students have participated in a variety of educational activities that focus on stewardship and healthy outdoor recreation.

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