Our youth programs have been selected as a National Park Service Centennial Challenge Project. Every dollar that we raise up to $450,000 will be matched to help us get under-served kids to parks. Donate now! Photo courtesy of NPS.
Kids to Parks Day National School Contest is now open! Teachers, start planning your park trips and send us your students' contest entries by March 4th. Learn more.
In partnership with NIPSCO, NPT has acquired 30 acres of land surrounding the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Visitor Center. The land will be donated to NPS this winter. Read More.
In partnership with Trust for Public Land, NPT has helped acquire Ackerson Meadow, a 400-acre, privately owned property surrounded by Yosemite National Park & Stanislaus National Forest.
Fall is a great time to play outside! The air is cool. Leaves are falling. (One of Buddy Bison’s favorite things is romping through a pile of leaves.)
Make sure that you take every chance you get to play outside this fall—just like so many other kids who’ve been taking Buddy Bison out on hikes, in canoes and even in search of crabs. Let’s see Where Buddy Bison’s Been!
Celebrity Personal Trainer Mark Jenkins Gets Kids Fit at Patuxent Research Refuge
What do LL Cool J, Mary J. Blige and Brandy have in common? All keep in shape with the help of Buddy Bison Ambassador Mark Jenkins. Mark and his wife Nadia Bey of
I M Fit helped Buddy Bison bring 70 third and fourth grade students from Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Charter School (Washington, DC) to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Patuxent Research Refuge. The kids explored interactive exhibits, howled like wolves, played migration games and got active with Mark. For lunch, Chris Leibner from Just Simply Cuisine talked about healthy eating and helped the kids make harvest fruit skewers. It was a perfect example of how green learning can also contribute to good health—and be fun!
Officer Clowers and HORSE Steely Dan Trot into Buddy Bison Schools
Most of you have seen police officers in patrol cars or on bikes—and many of you have seen mounted police on horseback. Officer Mariea Clowers, a US Park Police officer, helps keep us safe from atop her partner Steely Dan—a grey thoroughbred horse.
Mariea and Steely Dan have made visits to Buddy Bison schools, including E.L. Haynes Public Charter School’s (Washington, DC) Badgers, Lions, Wolverines and Gophers. These 3 and 4 year olds just learned how to write letters and will be sending some of their first to Officer Mariea. Here is what some of the kids from other schools had to say.
Demi, Grade 2, Stokes School: I hope you can come back to our school with Steely Dan because I miss playing with him. You are the best officer in the whole wide world. I miss you, Steely Dan and Officer Mariea. You are so cute, Steely Dan—and smooth—but you are a police horse. I wish you were mine. I love you, Steely Dan and Officer Mariea. Read Buddy Bison’s Blog for Genesis and Wladimir’s notes to Mariea.
New to the Buddy Bison program, Harmony Hills Elementary School (Silver Spring, MD) welcomed Officer Mariea in a solo appearance. The kids learned about horse adaptations and the honesty and hard work it takes to be a park police officer.
At Grand Teton, Buddy Bison says, “Let’s Move Outside!”
First Lady Michelle Obama is working hard to encourage kids to move and play outside. A few weeks ago, Buddy Bison traveled to Grand Teton National Park to take a hike with his friends from Center of Wonder and Grand Teton Science School. Kids from Jackson, Wyoming came out for a trek on their no-school day. The kids took a nature photo expedition, played games, learned about nature-inspired art and even met Buddy Bison Ambassador Shelton Johnson via Skype. Now, the First Lady’s Let’s Move website describes the day’s adventure and features Buddy Bison!
Anacostia River is Launching Point for a Week of Outdoor Fun
Buddy Bison’s friends from Wilderness Inquiry in Minnesota traveled with their canoes to provide an urban wilderness canoe adventure to kids who live near and along the Anacostia River in Washington, D.C. From Saturday November 13 to Thursday, November 18, students from Buddy Bison schools KIPP D.C. WILL and KEY Academies (Washington, DC), Washington Latin Public Charter School (Washington, DC) , Jefferson Houston Elementary School (Alexandria, VA), Stokes School (Washington, DC), and E.L. Haynes Public Charter School (Washington, DC) took their woolly friend out on the river as they learned more about the Anacostia in five hand-made Voyageur canoes.
Anesia from KIPP DC, KEY Academy wrote, On Saturday we went canoeing. We learned what pollution is and how to stop it. When we went I noticed a lot of trash (a.k.a. pollution) in the river. Me and the people on my canoe tried to help by picking it up. When we went we saw Buddy Bison. He is brown and looks like a bull. He is nice and respectful. I had a great time with my friends and kids from WILL Academy, and they were respectful and nice.
Crystina, also from KIPP DC, KEY Academy wrote, On Saturday, I went canoeing in the Anacostia River. I learned about pollution. I learned all about different types of animals. I saw other people paddle boating. I saw a lot of trash in the water. I also saw a lot of birds around. The Buddy Bison I saw was brown and black. He was very friendly. He also liked Duke [Blue Devils}! Thank you, Buddy Bison, for taking me canoeing on the Anacostia River.
Principal Kimberley Graves from Jefferson Houston said, "The students at Jefferson-Houston love being a Buddy Bison School. At first many of the students expressed fear about being on the canoes but when they returned they stated that it was the best fieldtrip ever."
Beauvoir, the National Cathedral Elementary School (Washington, DC) kept busy with Buddy Bison this month! Here are students’ notes on some of their adventures.
2nd Grade Leprechaun class: The Leprechaun class took Buddy Bison to Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens in October and saw so many wetlands plants and animals! Our guide, Ranger Kathy, showed us duck weed, a seed called a hitchhiker, and turtles. We even saw a gaggle of geese land in the water! The giant lily pads that we saw were over three feet across… They were so big! It was a really fun field trip and we observed the many sights, sounds, and smells of nature! Buddy Bison loved our field trip.
Pre-K Penguins The Pre-K Penguins visited Olmsted Woods on November 8, 2010 to investigate the changes that happen in our environment during the season of autumn. Buddy Bison accompanied us on this trip and saw, heard, felt, and smelled some signs of autumn too!
Here are some thoughts from the Pre-K students:
I saw a squirrel.
I (maybe) smelled a rock that was sprayed by a skunk.
I saw leaves that were red, yellow, and brown.
I collected leaves and they were different colors.
Buddy Bison learned about the leaves, trees, and the woods with us.
Pre-K Whales Made a Class Nature “Monster”: We went on a nature walk with Buddy Bison and on our walk we collected rocks, berries, sticks, grass, leaves, twigs and pine needles so we can make a class monster. It was so much fun to make our monster because it is a pretend creature. Look at our monster collage!
E.L. Haynes Students Write about National Park Visit
Some of us spend most of our time with Buddy Bison on trips to parks with our families. Emma, Lucy and Asher, E.L. Haynes Public Charter School students, had this to say about their summer family trip.
We went to Joshua Tree National Park this summer on our big trip across the country. We took a lot of pictures with Buddy on the rocks. We climbed over boulders and things like that. My little brother, Asher, was acting like a little monkey. –Emma
We had to drink lots of water to stay hydrated because it was at least 93 degrees there. Me and my brother and twin sister got to climb a little ways up a little cliff. My dad climbed almost all of the rocks we came to. We love Joshua Tree and we almost forgot how hot it was once we saw all of the beautiful trees. –Lucy
I climbed on top of a whole stack of boulders and I'm a little monkey. My dad climbed really well too and my sisters, Emma and Lucy did too. –Asher
Going Crabbing with Central Park School for Children
Central Park School for Chidren in Durham, NC recently took some kids (and Buddy Bison) on a field trip to Masonboro Island where they went crabbing! Asa, a fourth grader at Central Park School wrote an essay about the trip.
Going Crabbing by Asa
“Don't throw it like that, Alec!” I said.
We were standing on the sandy shores of Masonboro Island trying to catch crabs.
“I've got one!” Alec said.
As I reeled the soaking wet string onto the soft damp wood, Alec said, “Must be a piece of grass.” We reeled it in the rest of the way, and Alec threw it out again.
Suddenly I heard, “Sorry guys I think we've been skunked!” I turned around and saw it was a teacher who was speaking. We reeled our line the rest of the way in and trudged to the instructor. He said “Put your crabbing lines in this bucket and follow me to instructor Jane.”
As we walked to instructor Jane I said to myself, “I really didn't think crabbing would be that hard, but at least I learned something new.”
St. Ignatius Eighth Graders Speak on Behalf of Buddy Bison Program
Buddy Bison helps get kids outdoors, but this month, eighth grade St. Ignatius Loyola Academy (Baltimore, MD) students Lloyd, Evan and Tyi’ Sean spoke up on behalf of the Buddy Bison program. At a Shoe Crush fundraiser held by National Park Trust, these young men explained how much exploring the outdoors has shaped their lives. A portion of the funds raised that night will go toward a spring break trip for St. Ignatius students to Harper’s Ferry and the Appalachian Trail. Great work, guys!
Help families encourage blossoming authors! Send home this flyer (or distribute through the PTA) to remind parents that Buddy Bison’s Buzz and Blog provide ample opportunities for student publication.
Blog all about it!
Buddy Bison’s Blog is up and running and quickly filling with student submissions. Check it out and use this as a tool for encouraging written reflection by your students.
Reminder: If you would like your students’ work to appear in December’s Buddy Bison’s Buzz, please submit to Sarah@parktrust.org by December 6.
Do you know about Buddy Bison's Birthday Bash and FREE downloadable party games? Find fun ways to encourage healthy living and grab fun and easy birthday celebration ideas on Buddy Bison’s website
Meaningful Holiday Gifts
With the holidays fast approaching, consider a gift that does more than sit on a shelf. Buddy Bison encourages your child to get outdoors—and proceeds from the sale go right back into the Buddy Bison program and park scholarship fund. Shop online or find a park store near you.
Buddy Bison wants you to visit, explore and protect our nation’s parks. Bring him along as you roam and tell everyone Where Buddy Bison’s Been!