At the beginning of the Oregon Trail in Independence, MO
Checking out a science fair in Potomac, MD
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Spring is here! The weather is getting warmer and the park season has begun. There is no better time to get outside and explore your local, state and national parks! If you haven't had the chance yet, make sure you check out my brand new website (BuddyBison.org) where you can find plenty of ways to explore outdoors throughout the Spring!
Congratulations to the Winners of the 2012 National Kids to Parks Day School Contest!
After receiving a lot of great entries to our 2012 National Kids to Parks Day School Contest, I have decided on the winners! Click here to see the list of the 32 winning schools.
All winners will receive a scholarship to fund their trip, including transportation and materials for their park projects. They will also be given a Buddy Bison for their classroom and official certificate from NPT. Congratulations!
Sierra House on a Winter Trek
Students in the 5th grade from Sierra House Elementary School in South Lake Tahoe, CA went on a "Winter Trek" last month to Heavenly Mountain on the border of Nevada and California. On the field trip, the students were taught about torpor, hibernation, adaptation, and migration – important parts of the life of animals like me. Afterwards, the students wrote me letters about all the interesting things they learned during the trip. You can read their letters by clicking here.
Here are a few of my favorite quotes from these letters:
"Our field trip was fun. We learned about torpor, migration, adaptation, and hibernation." - Casey
"What I learned on Winter Trek was that bears do not hibernate, they go into torpor. In adaptation the animal's fur grows longer and their fur might change color." - Zachary
"My favorite part was going on the gondola. It was very fun because it was my first time ever. I think this is the best field trip so far!" - Claudia
A Day of Science at St. Andrews
The Lower School at St. Andrews Episcopal School in Potomac, MD held its first science fair last month, and invited me to come check it out. My friends Jessica Wahl and Kevin Discepolo from the Department of the Interior's Youth in the Great Outdoors program brought ranger hats to try on, deer antlers to touch and owl pellets to examine. The third graders decorated a display with posters they drew showing me playing outside at many different locations.
At the end of the science fair, every student received their own Buddy Bison to take home. An excited second grader shared that "Buddy went to music class and outside on the playground! When I get home, I will show Buddy my backyard!"
Does Anything Rhyme with Bison? A New Poem for Buddy!
The author Jan Beattie hiking a 15,000 ft. pass in the Peruvian Andes
Thanks for bringing me into your home. But now I'm restless – I'd like to roam! From Florida's reefs to Glacier's heather, Let's explore Mother Nature's wonders together.
I want to see forests, lakes, wildlife, and rivers, Mountains and canyons that give me the shivers. We'll travel by plane, foot, cycle or car. Our stories we'll share with those near and far.
Let's plan a trip! We'll look at a map, Visit some parks, then photos we'll snap. Bring me along with your family and such; I love to go traveling – thank you so much!
Posting photos online – a definite must – To share with the folks at National Park Trust. They'll show us on Twitter, online, and Facebook. Visit www.BuddyBison.org and take a quick look!
- By Jan Beattie
I would like to thank Jan for sending in this wonderful poem! I love to receive poems, letters, stories, artwork, and pictures. Ask your parents to help you send them in!
About the author: Jan Beattie lives in Colorado, near Rocky Mountain National Park, where she has hiked nearly every trail on the east side of the park and many on the west side as well. She visits other national parks every year and goes hiking in her local open space parks, state parks and wilderness areas. Last year she visited several national parks: Canyonlands, Crater Lake, Grand Canyon, and Mammoth Cave. This year she plans on visiting even more!
DC Kids Beat the Cold and Battle the "Elements"
Last month I joined nine very excited four year old boys and girls on an adventure into the "elements" – the wild, cold and sometimes dirty winter environment at Battery Kemble Park in Washington, DC. The group of kids who called themselves the "Pups" was led by my friends at The Elements D.C. Their leader, Margaret Rietano, wrote about their experience:
The adventure started with word that a herd of bison had escaped from their "ranch". The concerned, but eager boys and girls headed off on this very important "search and rescue mission". Some took the high trail. Some took the low trail. They all ventured off-trail, meandering over the stream and along through the winter woods in search of the lost herd.
Alas, they discovered the herd of bison in a woodland shelter. The bison were cuddled and loved immediately while the "Pups" enjoyed the exciting story of "Rosie and the Rustlers" by Roy Gerard.
Buddy Bison's Adventurers of the Month – Sonia and Devin from Beauvoir Elementary School in Washington, DC
For the first time I have selected two Adventurers of the Month! Congratulations to Sonia (age 8) and Devin (age 5), siblings who attend Beauvoir, the National Cathedral Elementary School in Washington, DC – one of our Buddy Bison schools. Their family recently took an amazing trip to Kauai, one of the islands of Hawaii. To read what Sonia had to say about the trip and learn more about their adventure, click here.
Parent / Teacher Corner
Buddy Bison's Been Here!
See current pictures of Buddy Bison all over the world! "Like" National Park Trust on Facebook and join the park preservation conversation!
National Kids to Parks Day is Saturday, May 19, 2012!
For our second annual National Kids to Parks Day event, NPT has launched a brand new website (www.kidstoparks.org) where you can sign up to participate and find a park event occurring nearby!
NPT Officially in Support of Let's G.O.! (Get Outside)
Click here to register to participate in Children & Nature Network's initiative to reconnect our youth with the outdoors in April!