Cherry Blossoms, song birds, and warmer days are finally here. What a season for parks and outdoor activities! In fact, Earth Day, Let’s G.O., and National Park Week all are happening this month. And how could you forget about Kids to Parks Day, which is just around the corner? Pledge to participate today and check out our free park resources. You might even win our GRAND prize! Find out more below.
Don't forget National Parks are free this weekend. What's your excuse? Get out and go!
4 Weeks Away – Kids to Parks Day!
I can’t believe we are only one month away from my favorite park holiday, Kids to Parks Day! I am throwing the biggest outdoor party for kids of all ages on May 17 and YOU are invited. Here are just a few things that we are offering to celebrate this national day of play.
Find a park or special park event to explore on Kids to Parks Day. Check this map and list for something close to home.
Each Sunday a new weekly contest opens featuring a hot prize from one of our loyal sponsors. Follow National Park Trust on Facebook to learn more.
Check out Buddy Bison’s outdoor tip this week. Print it out and pin it on your fridge to inspire your weekend activities.
Have you pledged that you, your family and friends will visit a local park on Kids to Parks Day, May 17th? If not, please do so today. When you pledge, you'll be automatically entered into our contest for our KTPD14 GRAND prize Click here for more details.
Were you expecting a stampede of wild bison? Well how about a stampede of excited kids? I have been all over exploring parks this spring and wow, what an adventure!
Exploring Rock Creek Park, Washington, D.C.
The Washington Jesuit Academy 5th-grade boys from Washington, D.C. visited Rock Creek Park for a day of fun learning activities and hiking with Ranger Scott. Wally said, “I wish my mom would bring me here again!" They also visited the park's planetarium and learned about star systems and planets. More Rock Creek photos here! I love to look at the dark sky at night and discover stars and planets too!
Planting the Future: Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, Louisiana
Last month, 5th graders from Chalmette Elementary, Chalmette, LA, helped the park prepare for the upcoming bicentennial celebration of the Battle of New Orleans- that's a battle that took place nearly 200 years ago on January 8, 1815! The students helped park staff at Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve plant 180 native trees at the entrance of the national cemetery -- part of a multi-year beautification and stewardship initiative called Planting the Future. I can’t wait to come back with the students to monitor these trees and plant even more trees! More photos here!
Historic Jamestowne, Virginia
The 4th graders at Lynbrook Elementary School in Springfield, VA recently took an adventure to Historic Jamestowne. The day may been a bit cold and rainy, but that did not temper their excitement as they braved the elements and learned about the history of the people and the land around the settlement. We even got to walk on the old ships that sailed here from Europe! Most of the students had never been to Historic Jamestowne before, but they all wanted to come back again. More photos here!
Clay Pit Ponds State Park, New York
These 6th graders from Brooklyn Jesuit Prep really found out how wild their city could be while visiting Clay Pit Ponds State Park on Staten Island, NY. They turned over logs looking for insects, tromped through the mud on the trials, and found out what a pond ecosystem is all about. More photos here!
Seeing a Living Food Chain Up Close
My friends at the Earth Conservation Corps (ECC) recently brought their live animals to the students at three Buddy Bison schools in Washington, D.C.: Neval Thomas Elementary, Washington Jesuit Academy, and Washington School for Girls.The students learned about the food chain -- from plants to small mammals to snakes to birds of prey. They even saw one of the birds of prey eating a mouse! The bird's physical adaptations including their beaks, talons and keen eyesight make them great hunters.
Dare2B NYC — Helping Children Discover Park Service Career Paths
Look who I met In February at the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island! These curious students are a part of Dare2B NYC's Career Discovery Tour program. "This trip accomplishes our mission of creating a memorable moment in the lives of children living in homeless shelters while simultaneously educating them about career opportunities in the field of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.", stated Dare2B NYC founder Roxana Colorado.
Thanks to the very generous support from Eastern National, one of NPT's and Dare2B's partners, selected children experienced the full audio tour and lunch with staff and heard about the many unique jobs required to keep our parks in business throughout the year. They even received their own Buddy Bisons!
The kids were mesmerized by this park experience which included their first boat ride with a picturesque view of Manhattan. "I wish I could bring my mother here!", exclaimed one of the students as they stared out at the river and slowly approached the statue. They also learned "what a cool dude" Buddy Bison is and promised to take me, their new traveling companion, on all of their future park trips. More photos here!