• 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! 



Do you Know How to Win a Class Trip to a Park?


Students from Reid Elementary, Baldhill Dam at Lake Ashtabula.

Last NPT is gearing up to begin its third annual Kids to Parks Day National School Contest starting on January 6th. The Kids to Parks Day National School Contest is open to all schools grades pre-K through 12 in the United States to help fund their very own Kids to Parks Day event (Saturday, May 16th) Schools can win scholarships up to $1,000 for a park trip designed by students which encompasses stewardship pf the park, health and wellness and a lesson that compliments their curriculum. What do these scholarships mean to the children? 

These scholarships provide funding for students to access local parks and have memorable educational experiences such as Reid Elementary, one of last years’43 schools to win the Kids to Parks Day National School Contest. 165 kindergarten and first grade students from Jefferson School in Valley City, North Dakota used Baldhill Dam at Lake Ashtabula as their outdoor classroom and had an eventful day hiking and learning about dams, planting seedlings, and replacing mulch around trees. One student shared his excitement, "this is the seriously the best day ever, I didn’t know we could learn outside of our classroom- our classroom is outside, I am going to tell my mom & dad about this place, Can we come back and check on the trees we planted? I can’t believe how much fun we are having!"

More details about the contest will be posted on parktrust.org after the winter break on January 6th. 


Can a Crowd Save Ackerson Meadow?


Ackerson Meadow borders Yosemite.
Time is running out on Ackerson Meadow! How can YOU help? You may recall our announcement last month about our formal Memorandum of Understanding with The Trust for Public Land (TPL) to help acquire Ackerson Meadow, a 400-acre, privately owned property surrounded by Yosemite National Park & Stanislaus National Forest. Imagine this scenic view interrupted by a hotel or restaurant, and even worse, the impact it will have on the ecosystem and the endangered species that depend on it for their survival. 

Crowdrise is offering a Bonus Challenge to non-profits hosting events this month.  The organization that gets the greatest number of donations, not amount raised, between December 16th at 2pm ET and December 23rd at 12pm ET will get a $10,000 donation. Please click on this Custom Email  created for NPT and share it with anyone who loves nature, history, children, health and well-being … you get the idea. We have committed to raise $25,000 by December 31, 2014. Existing donors have provided seed money to cover the administrative costs of phase 1 of this project, so every dollar donated goes directly towards acquisition. Our Crowdrise event is a great way to make a larger impact and help instill a culture of philanthropy on your home. Why should you care about Ackerson Meadow? 

The Ackerson Meadow property supports a wealth of species including those with elevated conservation status, including the western pond turtle, the Willow Flycatcher and the western mastiff bat. The habitat for these rare and threatened species is no longer conducive to mating and foraging . As part of Yosemite National Park, the property would be managed to create optimal conditions to support these sensitive species. As a result, the property's protection is a top priority for the National Park Service and has long been recognized as one of the highest conservation priorities in the Sierra Nevada. Once acquired, Ackerson Meadow will be donated to the National Park Service and will be an important addition to Yosemite National Park and its ecology.


NPT Welcomes Our Newest Board Member: Hal Stern!


Hal Stern
NPT is proud to welcome Hal Stern as the newest member to our board of trustees! Hal has over 30 years of experience in health services and is the current President at Financial Health Strategies, Inc. Hal’s career in the health industry impressed upon him the importance of outdoor activity on health.  Research has shown that children who frequently play outside in natural spaces experience reduced symptoms from depression, ADHD and anxiety.  Their self-esteem improves and they are much less likely to be obese, which can cause many life threatening conditions.  What impact can Hal make? 
Hal’s healthcare knowledge is also coupled with his own love of parks and natural spaces.  When asked to become a member of the Board of Trustees, Hal enthusiastically agreed.  In his own words “Access to parks is not equal for all people. There are a number of road blocks to routine access to these parks which, unfortunately, seem to impact children in under-served communities at a much higher rate.  As a result, statistics show that these same children suffer from life threatening health problems as they grow older. I look forward to working with NPT to change the face of parks and the people who use them.”
Bill Brownell, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for NPT has long understood these issues and knows the difference that Hal can help make to the health of children across the country. Bill stated “Hal’s extensive background in healthcare will support NPT’s efforts to develop and implement programs addressing  the impact and importance that our nation’s parks on our health and wellbeing. We look forward to working with Hal to raise awareness regarding the essential role parks play in our physical and mental health.” 

The Sun was Shining at the National Mall!


Children from Sunshine Early Learning
Center visit the National Christmas tree.

This 107 children from Sunshine Early Learning Center (SELC) visited United States Botanic Garden, and President’s Park thanks to the continued support of the SunTrust Foundation. The 3 – 5 year olds had a blast visiting the White House, and the National Christmas Tree, both of which are a park of President’s Park.

National Park Trust Leadership Council member Diana Leon-Taylor stated, "Even though it was a cold day, the excitement and energy of the 100 pre-K students was palpable. Through National Park Trust and it's Buddy Bison school program, the children are using our parks for outdoor education and recreation -- and are learning how these special places are right in their backyard."

SunTrust is delighted to once again sponsor the Buddy Bison school program at Sunshine Early Childhood Learning Center. We have seen how transformational and important this program has been for the youngest residents in Anacostia and we are pleased to be making an important impact in our community, stated Fredric Walls, Managing Director and Senior Investment Advisor, SunTrust Bank.  Why was the day so special? 

The children had just finished their unit on trees so their trip to the Garden, as well as the Christmas tree, was timely and helped them put their learned skills to practice. They have started their unit on clothing, so the trip also helped in teaching them about what types of clothing go with the seasons as well as the types of clothing different professionals such as, park rangers need to wear for work.   The SELC is one of two centers under the Southeast Children’s Fund, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides early childhood education to children ages six months to three years, families, and early care and education professionals from Wards 7 and 8 of Washington, DC. 



You shop, Amazon Gives to Support NPT

As you do your holiday shopping online, consider signing up for AmazonSmile. The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from eligible items. Let Amazon do the work for you and help a child gain access to parks.  Select National Park Trust as your charity of choice by going to Amazon Smile and logging in or create an account. That’s it! You can even have your friends and loved ones create wish lists at Amazon.com to make that choice of gift even easier.