• 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! 



Buddy Bison Chance Encounter During Breast Cancer Walk

Mimi Magyar (left) and Krista Anderson Gordon (middle) with her daughter (right)
Children from Alderwood Elementary on their park adventure with their water bottles donated by CamelBak

Did you know that Buddy Bison not only “fights” for the protection of our parks but also against breast cancer AND appears to be a celebrity!? Every year, Mimi Magyar, NPT’s development director, leads a team of walkers on a 3-day, 60 mile fundraising walk to fight breast cancer – and yes, they walk through a lot of parks!  This year the team selected Seattle in September for the location of their walk and of course,  Buddy Bison had a bird’s eye view from Mimi’s back pack.  On day 3, about 56 miles in, Buddy was spotted by Krista Anderson Gordon.  How did she know who Buddy was?

Krista was astounded to see Buddy on the walk.  She stopped Mimi and explained that she worked in the administration at Bellingham School District in Washington state. Then, without knowing who Mimi was she explained that NPT gave the 4th graders at Alderwood Elementary in Bellingham, WA the opportunity to travel to Lime Kiln State Park as a result of their winning a park scholarship through the Kids to Parks Day National Scholarship Contest this year.

It was only after Krista finished that she asked Mimi how she knew about Buddy Bison. Mimi told her. They both broke into tearsShe said that her students’ park experience had changed their lives and was especially important because they reside in an under-served community, and how lucky Mimi was to be a part of something like that.  Her students are going to enter the school contest again for the 5th anniversary of Kids to Parks Day on May 16, 2015. (Don’t forget the Kids to Parks Day National Scholarship Contest starts January 5th!)

When posting photos from the event on NPT’s social media platforms, Krista chimed in and posted “Yeah, Mimi! And thank you, Buddy Bison! Buddy is who started the conversation! It was so much fun to meet someone on the walk from NPT who made such a difference for our school with a grant for Kids to Parks Day! You just keep making a difference in so many ways! You are AWESOME!”

Alderwood received a park scholarship through the generosity of our sponsors including Guest Services, who came to the rescue and increased thier sponsorship when Gerry Gabrys and Kris Rohr learned that qualified schools would not be able to participate due to lack of funding.  CamelBak and Shannon Bryant Martinez entered the equation by providing water bottles for the Alderwood children and 2400 other students to keep them hydrated every day and reduce their carbon footprint by re-using their bottles.

Although we at NPT know our mission is critical, hearing experiences like this keep us energized. Thank you to everyone for making this unique set of events possible!


Horses in California are Helping Parks!

“Jet Stream” is now almost 20 years old, but still showing in the jumpers with her "forever" partner Kaila Reeves.
"Whisper" just competed at the Blenheim Fall Tournament with her rider Shirley Izzaguire.

Since 2003, Carol Dean Porter has run the Horses for Parks program in Rolling Hills, CA which has raised awareness about NPT and the importance of park conservation and education through donations. Carol has been a professional hunter/jumper trainer for more than 40 years and is the owner of Carol Dean Porter Training Stables where she trains and houses horses. How can horses provide donations you say?

With Carol’s help, a haven is provided to horses that are in need of a home or in the process of recovery and would otherwise be given to a shelter. The horses are donated to NPT and are cared for at Carol’s stables. Once Carol has helped these horses to recover to their full potential, the horse is sold and the proceeds from these sales are donated directly to NPT to help fund our mission and programs.

She explains, “We have been able to find new homes for dozens of horses over the years in addition to providing NPT with a source of revenue to aid their valuable work! Some of our horses have had injuries which required time to heal, others are active show competitors, others are great companions and trail riding buddies.”

“This innovative program established over a decade ago by Carol not only benefits the horses but also National Park Trust. It’s a win-win all around,” stated Grace Lee, NPT executive director.


Forget the Baking Soda and Vinegar Volcano Project…

These students saw the real thing! Last month, 75 adventurous 5th graders from Boise-Eliot/Humboldt School (Portland, OR), our newest Buddy Bison school, visited Mount St. Helens National Monument. Did you know that this monument is the first of its kind to be managed by the U.S. Forest Service? It was established as a monument in August of 1982, two years after its massive eruption in May of 1980. What is there to do at a volcano?

After first visiting the Johnston Ridge Observatory to learn about the volcano’s geology, the students participated in hands-on activities at the Science and Learning Center at Coldwater. They learned how to identify different kinds of rocks, reconstruct maps of earth’s plate tectonics, and how volcanic and earthquake monitoring equipment are used. Despite the devastating effects the eruption had on the landscape, the students were able to hike around the base of the volcano to learn and see firsthand how the forest has been rebuilding itself over the past 34 years.

Kylene Parks, STEM Instructional Specialist at Boise-Eliot/Humboldt stated, “Most of our students have never had the opportunity to visit Mount St. Helens or any other national monument or park before.” We thank Prudential Financial for funding this transformational experience. 



Welcome NPT’s Newest Board Member - Dave Parker

Earlier this month, David N. Parker was elected to the Board of Trustees. Keep reading to learn how Dave’s addition to the Board is truly exciting!

Dave’s passion for parks began at an early age, camping in Michigan State Parks with his family and hiking in his first national park (Yellowstone) at age 14. Over the last 50 years he has explored 55 of our 60 national parks, visiting many of them numerous times. Dave’s professional interest in parks began after his college days – receiving a B.A. in geography and a Masters in urban space and regional planning from Wayne State University in Detroit. After his service in the Air Force, he joined the Oakland County MI Planning Commission. Although providing valuable services on the state level was quite an accomplishment, Dave was about to enter the national stage with the passage of the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act (LWCF) in 1965.

With the establishment of LWCF, 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. Dave joined BOR where he evaluated sites and plans. He was then assigned to the legislative affairs division in D.C., which led to an opportunity to work on parks legislation with the Senate Interior and Insular Committee headed by Chairman Henry (Scoop) Jackson. During his tenure legislation creating the Redwoods, North Cascades, Wild Rivers, and Scenic Trails were passed and signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson!  Dave’s star continued to rise and he joined the personal staff of the newly appointed Secretary of the Interior, Walter J. Hickel.  During the two years with the Secretary, Dave worked with the BOR and the NPS developing the concept of the Parks to the People Program (Gateway East and Gateway West).  Can you see now why we are so excited to have him join our Board???

After Dave assisted the new incoming Secretary, Rogers C.B. Morton, with his transition, he joined the White House Staff as the scheduling assistant for President Richard Nixon. He remained in this position through the rest of Nixon’s tenure and stayed on with President Gerald Ford until he later joined the Department of Commerce, as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Tourism.  When Dave left government service in the late 70’s, he became involved in the association community, serving in leadership capacities at Edison Electric Institute, the Aluminum Association, and the American Gas Association until he retired in 2011.  Dave has made it his current mission to improve our parks and green spaces, while guaranteeing access to them by everyone.  An Eagle Scout, Dave is currently the VP of Finance for the National Capital Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

Dave talked about this opportunity, "Serving on NPT's board allows my career to come full circle and has renewed my commitment to protecting our natural spaces and ensuring access to everyone, regardless of their financial circumstances.” Confirming the importance of Dave’s background and experience to the Trust, Bill Brownell,  NPT board chair stated: “We are delighted to welcome Dave Parker to the National Park Trust board. The depth and breadth of his experience and passion for our national parks will be a wonderful asset as we advance the Trust’s mission to ensure that everyone will have an American park experience.”


Frank Lee Ruggles Named NPT Artist Ambassador

NPT is delighted to announce that Frank Lee Ruggles (www.frankleeruggles.com), official photographer of the National Park Service from 2007 through 2010, has been named the first National Park Trust Artist Ambassador. As our inaugural Artist Ambassador, Frank will be working closely with NPT to chronicle and share some of the most treasured landscapes in the country to increase the awareness and appreciation of these iconic public lands, water and wildlife, as we prepare for the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016.

Frank states, “I am very honored to be selected as NPT’s first Artist Ambassador. Conservation and art can go hand in hand. It’s a perfect match and a great way for us to celebrate our national parks and nature.” Frank’s passion for photography and nature has taken him to more than 150 national parks in all 50 states. 

Tapping into Frank’s passion for teaching the art of photography – he often leads private “hike and shoot” programs – NPT plans to share some of his vast knowledge to teach our Buddy Bison students across the country how to take a great shot and capture their American Park Experience.

Frank is currently working with a major TV network on a new series that will feature the extraordinary techniques and skills he uses to capture the perfect shot at some of our most beloved national parks. “I'll be using my skills as a former U.S. Army paratrooper to get myself into places that will allow me to take very unique photos of the places I love.” And of course who will be his steadfast traveling companion? Buddy Bison of course!

Chuck Knauss, NPT board member and photography enthusiast stated, “National Park Trust is excited about the opportunity to partner with Frank Lee Ruggles, our first Artist Ambassador. Frank is immensely talented and sits on the forefront of cataloging our nation’s parks with digital media.  He will bring the wonders of photography to our Buddy Bison students, creating park memories they will treasure forever.”

Be sure to follow us via our newsletters, Facebook and Twitter where will be showcasing Frank’s art including this video.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYe3Y9v3yJI&list=UUUyAI55mkXEO53DNQV2PhzQ

Stay tuned, we’ll keep you posted!