Did you make it to a park for National Kids to Parks Day on May 19th? I hope so! More than 100,000 kids and their families made the trip to explore outdoors for the day. That's a whole lot of people! Kids to Parks Day was even featured on the First Lady's Let's Move! Blog!
If you didn't get the chance to participate in National Kids to Parks Day this year, don't worry! There are plenty of ways to enjoy our nation's parks all year-round. Also, this June is Great Outdoors Month! Visit my website (www.buddybison.org) for some really cool ideas about what to do. Read the articles in this month's Buzz and check out what other kids did on their adventurers. Maybe you will get some inspiration!
100,000 Kids and Families Get Outside for National Kids to Parks Day
Kids get ready for their kayak adventure on the Occoquan River
Kids just like you explored outdoors for National Kids to Parks Day on May 19th! In fact, 45 states and the District of Columbia participated and there were hundreds of events taking place in parks across the country! Eight governors signed proclamations and the U.S. Senate passed a resolution recognizing the day – really cool! Save the date for next year's National Kids to Parks Day: May 18, 2013!
Here are some of the things kids did across the country:
Occoquan, VA At the Healthy Paddles Event at Occoquan Regional Park kids learned how to kayak on the Occoquan River.
Boulder, CO Families explored the local trails of the East Boulder Community Center and went hiking, played tennis, and participated in other nature activities.
"My trip to Patuxent Research Refuge was incredible!!! We saw all of these beautiful habitats and explored [them]. We went on a train and saw lily pads. Then, we went on a patio to eat lunch. After that, we went hiking for about an hour then went back to school. It was the best time of my life." - Crystal G.
"I saw a turtle and a wolf exhibit. I saw a Buddy Bison and it was beautiful. I explored animals. I saw a Blue Heron." - Kenia O.
"My trip was fun! I learned a wolf could howl about 10 miles away. I saw a red belly turtle trying to lay its egg then I ate on the patio." - Devin C.
"At the field trip I saw the wolf exhibit and I learned a lot about wolves. I saw a beautiful blue heron and we went on a train and a hike. On the train we saw a red belly turtle. We learned that birds migrate every winter. We explored lots of new things." - Isabella O.
Mrs. Anne Porterfield Receives "The Buddy" National Teacher Award for Outstanding Environmental Stewardship
Mrs. Anne Porterfield (center) with school President John Ciccone and NPT Executive Director Grace Lee
Mrs. Anne Porterfield – reading teacher at St. Ignatius Loyola Academy in Baltimore, MD – received "The Buddy" National Teacher Award for Outstanding Environmental Stewardship.
After receiving the award, Mrs. Porterfield stated, "Our relationship with NPT has created opportunities for our guys which we never would be able to provide on our own – a canoe adventure on the Anacostia River, two overnight trips to West Virginia, trips to Washington, DC for Earth Day, to the White House for the Easter Egg Hunt, and on and on. The exposure to the outdoors through these field trips gives our classroom teachers context in which to base their lessons and engage our students."
"With the help of Buddy Bison, Mrs. Porterfield has done wonderful things for her students. She has found creative ways to connect them to the outdoors and show them how nature can be both educational and fun," said Grace Lee, Executive Director of NPT.
Click here to read more about Mrs. Porterfield's award, and make sure you thank your teachers for encouraging you to visit parks in your community!
Adventurer of the Month - Chase from Avondale, AZ!
Congratulations to my Adventurer of the Month for June: Chase from Avondale, AZ. Chase is on a cross-country trip and I am along for the ride!
Here is what Chase's mom told me about his big adventure:
"Chase is four and is taking his first summer adventure with his grandparents. They will be traveling from Arizona to Florida and back in a motor home. Everyday they stop to see something new and spend some time outdoors. They will visit fourteen states. When Chase visits a national park or monument, he works on a Junior Ranger badge. He has three so far and hopes to get at least two more before he goes home. He and Buddy enjoy visiting new places."
Click here to see more photos from Chase's travels. Here's a challenge: can you visit as many parks as Chase?
Each Adventurer of the Month receives a Buddy Bison T-Shirt and official certificate! Are you the next Adventurer of the Month? Email me about your adventure at firstname.lastname@example.org! You can get your very own Buddy Bison here.
"Get Wild" for Park and Recreation Month this July!
Need help locating a park near you? Visit www.buddybison.org for all kinds of useful tips!
What is Your City's Park Score?
A new tool from the Trust for Public Land ranks the 40 largest cities in the United States by how well they are meeting their resident's need for parks. The cities are ranked through a comprehensive system that takes into account acreage, accessibility, and park services.
Buddy Bison tells kids to "Explore outdoors, the parks are yours!" Kids (and adults) love taking Buddy with them to parks and snapping a few photos. When you buy Buddy Bison you help send a kid to a park through our Kids to Parks National Scholarship Fund!