• 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.

MAY 2013

Arboretum Adventures

ArboretumWMSG-5570Students from Washington Middle School for Girls visited the U.S. National Arboretum and Washington Youth Garden. They learned A LOT about plants and how to make a garden of their own. While at the National Arbboretum they visited the Herb Garde, Bonsai Museum and the Youth Garden. They also took a hike to Fern Valley.



JUNE 2013

Vento Award Reception

vento--2Earlier this month, I was honored to accompany Christina Stroman and LaTia Cook, 6thgrade Washington Middle School for Girls students, when they presented me, Buddy Bison (!) to Representative Mike Simpson (ID) and congratulated him for his outstanding record in Congress to preserve and protect our parks, public lands and water. Christina and LaTia also did a magnificent job talking about their park experiences including their meeting with new Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.

“I want students to look up to me as a great scientist. Maybe I will be the first scientist to bring animals back from extinction, like the whooping crane, and then their real mothers can feed them as they should.” – LaTia Cook

“After my three trips this year, I want my mother to take me to many more parks in and around our great city of Washington. And where-ever I go, I promise to bring along Buddy Bison for some pictures, so you can follow me as I discover the beauty of nature.” – Christina Stroman

I know they will grow up to be great leaders and role models in the environmental field; one day we will be looking to them for advice on how to protect our plants, animals and parks. Right now, Christina and La Tia are taking advantage of every opportunity to get outside and explore new things. I hope you are too!

JUNE 2013

National Fishing and Boating Week

group5117"I caught one. Thanks Secretary Sally!"

150 Buddy Bison Students from D.C.’s Brent Elementary School, Washington Latin Public Charter School and Washington Middle School for Girls went fishing June 3rdon the Anacostia River in Washington D.C. with Secretary Sally Jewell to kick off National Great Outdoors Month by celebrating National Fishing and Boating Week. They hooked up with many D.C. “natives”: catfish, sunfish, and perch. What a great way to celebrate the summer!

APRIL 2013

Scientists in Training!

The Washington Middle School for Girls, WMSG (DC) sixth graders recently visited the largest science and environmental education center in the Department of the Interior -- the Patuxent Research Refuge (MD).

The students learned how to identify different plants and animals in their ecosystem. Did you know that you can identify trees just by looking at their bark? They also learned about birds and were able to see different biomes on the tram ride.

WMSG students flapping their arms so 
they can fly like the Whooping Crane.

LaTia had this to say about her experience as a whooping crane:

"The best part of my trip to the Patuxent Wildlife Refuge was dressing up like a mother whooping crane. It helped me experience what it is like to be a bird. If I go back to the park, I want to ride the tram more and see parts of the park that I missed."

The refuge is a great place to learn about plant and animal species, especially endangered species! Thanks to my friends at Paladin Capital Group for funding our trip!


LIVE Food Chain!

Over the past month our friends from Earth Conservation Corps (ECC) presented special programs to our Buddy Bison students.

ECC's Daryl Wallace visited several D.C. schools with a LIVE food chain featuring raptors, snakes, and small mammals. Washington Middle School for Girls (WMSG) all welcomed Daryl and his programs.


Michael Kelley, a science teacher from WMSG said this to me about the visit:

"Many thanks to you and your colleague from the ECC for yesterday's exciting introduction to the natural wonders of our area. Nothing like a red-tailed hawk ready for flight and a live pooping exhibition by a Cooper's hawk to get the students' attention!"

Thank you Daryl and the ECC for bringing park experiences to our students during the cold winter months!