• 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 Education Director.

CarolynCohenFor more than 30 years, Carolyn Cohen has been an elementary school teacher in both private and public schools in Montgomery County, MD. With a Masters in early childhood education from the University of Maryland and a specialization in the interrelated arts, Carolyn has been instrumental in applying innovative curricula in her classroom. And the Buddy Bison School Program is an example of an innovative program that she uses each year.

In 2009, she led the Bullis School (Potomac, MD) to become one of the charter members of the Buddy Bison program, using parks as a backdrop for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education and other subjects as well. Since Bullis is not a Title I school, they do not receive financial support from NPT. However, Carolyn knows firsthand the many benefits of the Buddy Bison program. In fact, she has even created several education modules for our Buddy Bison classroom toolkit including one on national parks. Her outstanding efforts to bring learning outdoors, was recognized when NPT joined by Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar presented her with our inaugural National Teacher Award for Excellence in Environmental Stewardship, also known as The Buddy.