• Our mission is to preserve parks today and create park stewards for tomorrow. Since 1983, we have completed more than 100 park projects in 33 states. Furthermore, to foster future park enthusiasts and stewards, we created our Buddy Bison School Program and Kids to Parks Day, our nationwide day of play. This video summarizes our accomplishments thanks to your generous support!​

    Mapping our progress


  • Since 1983, NPT has supported and assisted in acquiring inholdings and in developing public and private partnerships to promote the acquisition and preservation of parks, wildlife refuges, historic landmarks, public lands, and water ways. We have completed more than 100 park projects benefiting 49 national park units and other public lands in 33 states. To learn more about about our work and how you can get involved, contact Dick Ring, NPT Park Projects Director.

  • Buddy Bison® School Program: Because Kids Need Parks and Parks Need Kids

    The Buddy Bison school program was created in 2009 to engage diverse children from Title I schools with their local, state and national parks to teach environmental education and the numerous benefits of outdoor recreation. If parks are to survive, the face of those parks must change and under-served communities must have access to these local cultural and environmental resources. More than 80% of the students in the Buddy Bison school program qualify for free or reduced-priced lunch, predominantly in inner city communities. This program has been used in 60 schools across the country in grades pre-K through 8th in public, public charter and private schools across the country (20 states and Washington D.C.).

    This experiential learning program enhances existing school curricula throughout the year with emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) as well as history, language arts, reading, geography, the arts, and outdoor recreation. Students also learn about the careers of professionals who support our parks-- and the importance of stewarding our public lands. And in addition to bringing kids to parks, we bring parks to kids by arranging schools visits from our many conservation partners.

    To learn more about how you can get involved, contact Billy Schrack, NPT Director of Youth Programs.

Four Rules of 

Know Yourself 

Before you step out on the trail, it's really important to be honest with yourself about your hiking capabilities. If you attempt a longer or tougher hike than you are prepared for, you not only put yourself at risk of injury, but also those that have to come help you. Start with easy hikes and build your way up. Hiking is great exercise and fun!

Know the Trail

Prior to your hike, you can use the vast resources of the internet to research information about the trail you're planning to explore. You can learn everything from weather, terrain, elevation and even the best places to stop for a photo. Print out a trail map at home and check the weather so you can dress accordingly. Read reviews from others who've hiked before you...you might just pick up a handy tip (like BRING BUG SPRAY!!).

Know Your Gear

Standing in the middle of a beautiful scene is NOT the place to be reading through your instruction booklet. Invest a little time reading at home and take a few minutes to watch the on-line "how-to" videos for your camera. You’ll be much happier taking pictures in the field than you will be reading about how your camera works. This goes not only for your camera gear, but your first-aid kit as well. The more you know your gear, the better you'll be able to use it when you need it.

  1. Know the "Deal" 

    Everyone, young and old should know the "deal" which is: we are guests in our nation's parks, we need to be conscious to do no harm and leave no trace of our presence.  Carving your initials in a tree is a bad thing...pestering animals is a terrible thing. Your responsibility is to protect the natural world as you are enjoying it. Stay on marked trails. You can't take home souvenirs, or pick wild flowers; and you have to be really responsible with your camp fires. Let's all just take photos and memories home.