• 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.

School Contest (Announcement)

And the winners are..........


School  Grade City State
HUGS Preschool  PreK Belleville AR
Cabot Middle School  6th Cabot AR
Danville Middle School  6th Danville AR
William Jefferson Clinton Primary School  4th Hope AR
Chula Vista Elementary School  3rd Chula Vista CA
Trinity Valley Elementary  3rd Willow Creek CA
Richardson Park Elementary School   2nd Wilmington DE
May B. Leasure   4th and 5th Newark DE
May B. Leasure   5th Newark DE
Hugoton Elementary School   5th Hugoton KS
Walkersville High School  10th through 12th Walkersville MD
Catonsville Education Center   6th through 12th Baltimore MD
Bullis School  3rd Potomac MD
Reid Elementary School   1st and 2nd Grand Blanc MI
Lee Middle School   6th Wyoming MI
Susick Elementary School   4th Troy MI
SE Kelloggsville Elementary School  5th Kentwood MI
St. Thomas Aquinas   3rd through 8th International Falls MN
Tarkio Elementary School  3rd Tarkio MO
Briacliff Elementary School  3rd through 5th Kansas City MO
Pecan Park Elementary School  3rd and 4th Jackson MS
Wilkes 4H-Club   8th through 12th Wilkesboro  NC
Tri-County Christian   4th through 6th Spruce Pine  NC
Jefferson Elementary School   K  Valley City ND
West Amwell Turnpike Elementary School  2nd Lambertville  NJ
PS7 - Abraham Lincoln School  K and 5th Brooklyn  NY
St. Martin De Porres  7th Philadelphia   PA
Interior School   6th through 8th Interior  SD
Symrna Primary School  5th Smyrna  TN
Blalack Middle School   7th Carrollton  TX
Ortiz Elementary School   4th Brownsville TX
Aneth Community School   1st through 6th Montesuma Creek  UT
Aneth Community School   K  Montesuma Creek  UT
Lynbrook Elementary School   4th Springfield VA
Yuma Elementary School  2nd Gate City  VA
Republic Middle School   7th Washington  WA
Meadowview Elementary School   3rd Eao Claire  WI

Congratulations to our winning schools! We received a very large number of wonderful, interesting and unique contest entries. Our thanks to the students and teachers for their hard work assembling the proposals -- and we loved the videos, letters, and artwork received too! We will be contacting the winning schools this week to discuss next steps.

We hope that your celebration of National Kids to Parks Day will continue long after your school trip this May. Remember to get outside and discover parks in your community all spring and summer long! In fact, don't wait until May -- you can explore a park this week -- or even today!

Contest winners will receive:

  • Funding for one park experience including school bus transportation, healthy snacks, park related fees, or supplies
  • Official award certificate and KTP stickers for students
  • A classroom Buddy Bison, our pint-sized woolly mascot to take, on your park adventure
  • A featured news story on our website and e-newsletter



Highlights from last year's contest:

  • 32 scholarships awarded serving 959 students in grades prek-11 (Full list of schools
  • KTP student led events planned in 14 states and Washington, DC
HUGS Preschool

"Our students really enjoyed their field trip to Lake Dardanelle State Park in Russellville, Arkansas. We met with Elisabeth Drake and she did a program on hidden creatures, then we enjoyed the visitor center where there were a lot of interactive activities my students enjoyed… As you can see from the pictures the children and staff had a great time and were very tired by the time they got back on the bus and used that time to take a good nap."

-Betty Baldwin, teacher

Oden Elementary 

 Fifth graders were able to go on a hike and scavenger hunt at the Janet Huckabee Nature Center in Oden, AR.

"I think you should take trips like this with your class. They are not only fun, but also EDUCATIONAL"

- Belle, 5th Grader

Dana Elementary

Second graders took a trip to the Carl Sandburg Home National History Site in North Carolina. 

"We want to help our society by helping the park services, we love to learn about nature, we are excited to learn about Carl Sandburg, many of our classmates haven’t been there before some of us do not have enough money to go.”

-2nd Grade Dana Elementary students

arrow blueFor more photos from school contest winners, click here!