• 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 work and celebrates the 2015 Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award recipient, Senator Rob Portman (OH).

    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 Education Director.

October 2014

Traveling Back in Time – May 18, 1980

Did you know that on that date, the United States experienced its most destructive volcanic event? Mount St. Helens National Monument, an active stratovolcano in southwestern Washington, underwent a massive eruption over 34 years ago that resulted in widespread damage and dramatically altered the region. Last month, I ventured west to explore this rugged landscape with 75 brave fifth graders from Boise-Eliot/Humboldt School (Portland, OR).

We started our day on the north side at the Johnston Ridge Observatory, learning from park rangers about the geology of the volcano and the events that led to its eruption. Massive trees were splintered at the base, the landscape is still barren in many areas and the top of the mountain is missing after more than three decades. In fact, the eruption was so powerful that the entire north side of the volcano blew off, dropping the summit over 1300 feet – now that’s a big landslide!  We then departed the ridge and visited the Science and Learning Center at Coldwater for some hand-on activities. The students identified different rocks, reconstructed maps of the earth’s plate tectonics, learned about volcanic and earthquake monitoring equipment, and hiked around the base of the volcano. What an amazing day in a truly unique park!

Thank you Prudential Financial for sponsoring Boise-Eliot/Humboldt as a Buddy Bison school this year and for funding this magnificent park experience that will be treasured forever!