• 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.

Across the country, NPT kicked off the 5th year of our Buddy Bison environmental education program by engaging more than 1,000 students with their local, state and national parks.

Here is a snapshot:

  • In Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., the federal shutdown did not prevent 500 students representing eight Buddy Bison schools from exploring the Anacostia River with the help of our partner Wilderness Inquiry (WI). WI brought six, 24-ft Voyageur canoes from St. Paul, Minnesota to Bladensburg Waterfront Park in Prince George’s County, MD. For most of these elementary and middle school students, this was their first time on the river. They had a terrific time learning about native wildlife and plants, the importance of keeping our rivers clean,  and about water safety
  • In Mississippi, Buddy Bison students from Escatawpa Upper Elementary School (Moss Point, MS) and Forest Elementary School (Forest, MS) explored their local river and state park. More than 140, 5th -grade students from Escatawpa Upper Elementary School went on a river boat tour of the bayou at the Pascagoula River Audubon Center.  They learned about swamps and the animals that have adapted to live in that environment.  One hundred fifty, 2nd -grade students from Forest Elementary visited LeFleur’s Bluff State Park and the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, located within the park.  They hiked the nature trails, saw a reptile show, and learned about the native wildlife and their habitat through hands-on exhibits.
  • In Georgia, 300 students from Hollydale and Fair Oaks Elementary Schools retraced the steps of Civil War soldiers at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park by hiking to the very top of the mountain.  They learned about the hard life of the soldiers, why the railroad system made the battle for Kennesaw so important, and about the unique geology of the mountain.

Our thanks to the Southern Company Charitable Foundation, Inc. for their generous support for our new schools in Georgia and Mississippi. If you are interested in learning how you can adopt-a-school in your community, contact Shana Newman Fajardo at 301-279-7275, ext 15 or at shana@parktrust.org

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