• 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.

On Saturday, October 19th, the Saint Paul (MN) community celebrated the dedication of a new outdoor classroom at the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary. This classroom will provide students and park visitors with a place to learn about the Sanctuary’s unique geology, American Indian science and culture, and early industrial history.

Sue Vento, NPT Leadership Council member said, “This beautiful sanctuary continues to amaze all who visit it. The addition of the outdoor classroom will provide invaluable educational opportunities for learners of all ages, which Bruce would celebrate with all of us! Special thanks to the 3M and McNeely Foundations, RRTL Architects, the City of Saint Paul and National Park Trust for their extraordinary generosity and vision. The community spirit of residents on Saint Paul's East Side and the leaders and staff of the Lower Phalen Creek Project have motivated and guided the development of the sanctuary and have made it the treasure it is today.”

National Park Trust successfully secured a grant from the 3M Foundation to provide resources for the design and construction of the classroom. These generous resources were also matched by another gift secured by the Lower Phalen Creek Project (LPCP), the local friends group of the park, from the McNeely Foundation. In addition, 3rd-grade Buddy Bison students from the Bullis School in Potomac, Maryland – located 1,000 miles from the Sanctuary – learned about this project from NPT and decided to designate their Pennies for Parks fund to support this project. They used their artistic talents to craft and sell 65 bracelets!

Interim Director of the Lower Phalen Creek Project, Dan McGuiness says, “With thanks to the community, our partners, and our donors, now people coming to the sanctuary have a place to gather at this beautiful classroom, made of natural limestone and enjoy interpretive programs, educational programs and special outdoor celebrations, all with a backdrop of the sanctuary, the river and the city.

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