• Watch this video from Kids to Parks Day 2014. 
    Save the date! The 5th annual Kids to Parks Day 2015 is May 16th.


    Register your kid-friendly park event below. It is not necessary to create a new event, consider co-branding programs that your park has already planned. 



  • Families, Kids, and Adults


  • We celebrated our 4th annual Kids to Park Day on Saturday, May 17, 2014 and want to thank you for joining us in this national movement that engages children with parks, nature, and healthy outdoor play.

    States, cities and towns across the country participated by proclaiming May 17th as Kids to Parks Day. We are already excited for Kids to Parks Day 2015. Below you will find a proclamation template. Please consider proclaiming May 16th, 2015 as Kids to Park Day in your community and showcase the great outdoor recreation activities available for your residents! 



John W. Rollins

The George Washington University
Founder, GW Business Plan Competition
Professor of Entrepreneurship

Primary interest is in entrepreneurship and fostering the formation and growth of new enterprises by students. Rollins taught the entrepreneurship course in the GW School of Business from 2001 to 2010. In 2008 he conceived and founded the GW Business Plan Competition which has grown significantly and is now among the top 10 largest university business plan competitions in the country. Rollins served on the GW School of Business Board of Advisors from 2000 to 2011 where he was Vice Chair from 2006 to 2011. He currently serves as an advisor to the GW Business Plan Competition.

In 2003 Rollins founded and served as Chairman of StreamCenter, Inc., an e-learning video production and streaming enterprise, where he was CEO from 2008 to 2010 when it was acquired by a national media firm. After founding AZTECH Software Corporation in the punch card era, Rollins served for 30 years as CEO and Chairman as the company reinvented itself five times and grew to be the largest software firm in the non-profit association space. He also serves on several national, regional, and community non-profit boards. These include the National Park Trust, Medstar Southern Maryland Hospital Center, and the Perry Street Prep Public Charter School.

Rollins earned his MBA at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and his bachelors at Dartmouth. He and his wife live in DC.


Michael Soukup

Michael was Chief Scientist for the National Park System for 12 years, responsible for technical programs and policies protecting 391 national park units (84 M acres) that host one-quarter billion visits annually. He retired from public service in 2007.

His tenure in Washington DC saw a doubling of the National Park Service’s science-based resource protection capabilities and an increased role for academe in national park research. He was a key architect of the Natural Resource Challenge—the NPS vision for approaching the next century of rapid environmental change. Designed to make NPS authoritative on the resources it manages, that program initiated a 13-agency Cooperative Ecosystem Studies (CESU) Network with over 300 academic partners, a network of 19 Research Learning Centers, and a long-term faunal/floral inventory and monitoring system for the 270 natural resource parks.

Previously, Michael was Director of Research at Everglades National Park and lead technical negotiator in the successful four-year U.S. v. Florida litigation to restore Everglades water quality.

He received his B.S. from the University of Richmond, VA, and his doctorate in limnology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His personal research targeted lake and marsh biogeochemistry and restoration.

A past President and CEO of Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park he currently he serves on several Boards and as Director of Science for Schoodic Institute. He continues to explore the role that national parks--as superb natural laboratories and inspirational sites for lifelong learning--can play for greater impact on the future landscape.

He lives in Blue Hill, Maine.


Mike Carper

Michael Carper serves as Principal of Conocarpum Advisors LLC, a privately held consulting services company based in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Conocarpum serves the needs of companies operating in the telecommunications, intellectual property, technology development and capital management industries. Mr. Carper also serves as President of United Wireless Holdings, Inc. based in Austin, Texas. Through his director and officer roles with United Wireless, he has full responsibility for the leadership and management of the operations, corporate development and legal functions for this group of data communications, mobile messaging and technology licensing companies.


Dave Parker

Dave Parker

Dave’s passion for Parks began at an early age, camping in numerous Michigan State Parks with his family and hiking in the first National Park (Yellowstone) at age 14. Over the last 50 years he has explored 55 of our 60 National Parks, visiting many Parks numerous times. Dave’s professional interest in parks began after his college days (BA-geography and Masters in Urban and Regional Planning), Wayne State University (Detroit) writing his graduate essay on “Open Space- Tools for Its Acquisition and Preservation”. After service in the Air Force, he joined the Oakland County MI Planning Commission where he conducted water resource studies and represented the County at the sessions of the Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Parks Authority. With the passage of the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act in 1965, the Department of the Interior sought planners to join the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation (BOR) to assist states in developing their State Outdoor Recreation Plans ( required under the law to qualify for funding various projects).Dave joined BOR  where he evaluated sites and plans and then was assigned to the legislative affairs division in DC This assignment lead to an opportunity to work on Parks legislation with the  Senate Interior and Insular Committee headed by Chairman Henry (Scoop) Jackson. During this time legislation creating the Redwoods, North Cascades, Wild Rivers, and Scenic Trails were passed and signed into law by President Johnson on October 2, 1968.Upon returning to the Interior Department  he joined the personal staff of the newly appointed SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, Walter J. Hickel.  During the two years with Hickel, and at Hickels direction Parker worked with the BOR and the NPS developing the concept of the Parks to the People program (Gateway East and Gateway West).He was also involved with the discussions that led to the creation of NEPA.
Once Hickel left Interior Parker assisted the new incoming Secretary Rogers C.B. Morton with his transition. Shortly, there- after Dave joined the White House Staff as the President’s scheduling assistant. He remained in this position thru the rest of President’ Nixon’s tenure and stayed on with President Ford until he later joined the Department of Commerce as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Tourism,(the agency that was responsible for promoting travel to the USA from abroad).  When Parker left government service in the late 70’s ,he became involved in the association community where he served as the VP Planning of the Edison Electric Institute ,in 1989 he became the President of the Aluminum Association and in 1997 joined the American Gas Association as CEO  a position he held until he retired in 2011. During this entire time he served on the Board of the American Society of Association of Executives (ASAE) Chairman in 1997-1998. Since 2011, he has served as an Advisor on the Clemson University Institute for Parks, Vice President of Finance for the National Capital Area Council, Boy Scouts of America (Parker is an Eagle) and is an advisor to the American Red Cross.

Ronnie Gathers

Ronnie Gathers was named The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission’s Director of Parks and Recreation in Prince George’s County, MD, in 2007. Prior to that, he served as Acting Director and Deputy Director of Facility Operations for the department. Formerly, he was with M-NCPPC’s Montgomery County Parks Department and the U.S. Army Recreation Department.

Mr. Gathers has connected with Prince George’s County communities to develop strategic partnerships, and has worked with staff to emphasize customer service, community engagement, health and wellness programs, and services for youth and seniors.

Mr. Gathers holds a Bachelor's Degree in Physical Education and Recreation from South Carolina State University, a Master's Degree in Administrative Management from Bowie State University and graduated from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government for Senior Executives in State and Local Government. He is also a member of the National Park Trust Board of Trustees.