• Our mission is to preserve parks and create park stewards for tomorrow. Since 1983, we have completed more than 100 park projects benefiting 49 national park units and other public lands in 33 states. Furthermore, to foster future park enthusiasts and stewards, we launched in 2009 our Buddy Bison school program and in 2011 Kids to Parks Day, our nationwide day of play. Watch this video to learn more about our work and the impact of your 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.


School Contest Winners 2014

Northside High School10thNorthportAL
Ladd Elementary School4thFairbanksAK
Fredonia Elementary School5thFredoniaAZ
Western Yell County HUGS PreschoolPre-KBellevilleAR
William Jefferson Clinton Primary School3rdHopeAR
Trinity Valley Elementary School Willow CreekCA
Jackson Heights Elementary School4th-5thRed BluffCA
Tierra Vista School2nd & 3rd-5thOxnardCA
Bristlecone Montessori1st-6thAlmaCO
Leasure Elementary School5thNewarkDE
Honoka'a High and Inter. School10thHonoka'aHI
Monticello Montessori Public Charter School4th-6thAmmonID
Buckhorn Elementary School4th-6thBuckhornKY
Cumberland County Middle School6th-8thBurkesvilleKY
Catonsville Ed. Center at RICA5th-12thBaltimoreMD
Burnt Mills Elementary School5thSliver SpringMD
Abraham Lincoln School 4th-5thNew BedfordMA
Bushnell Elementary SchoolPre-KLowellMI
South East Kelloggsville Elementary School5thKentwoodMI
Susick Elementary School3rdTroyMI
Lee Middle School6th & 7thWyomingMI
Pontotoc Middle School5th & 6thPontotocMS
Briarcliff Elementary School3rdKansas CityMO
Amazonia Elementary School2nd-3rdAmazoniaMO
De La Salle Blackfeet School7thBrowning MT
Chai Early Learning CenterPre-KEast BrunswickNJ
Sandia Base Elementary School1st-3rdAlbuquerqueNM
P.S. 7K Abraham LincolnKBrooklyn NY
PS 734thBronxNY
Dana Elementary School2ndHendersonvilleNC
Tri-County Christian SchoolK-12thSpruce PineNC
Jefferson School K-1stValley CityND
Newbury High School7thNewburyOH
Tussey Mountain High School10th-12thSaxtonPA
Beaufort Elementary SchoolKBeaufortSC
Chuckey-Doak Middle School6th-8thAfton TN
Kimberlin Academy for ExcellenceK-5thGarland TX
Meadowbrook Middle School6th-7thFort WorthTX
Gate City Middle School9thGate CityVA
Hilton Elementary School2ndHiltonVA
Alderwood Elementary School4thBellinghamWA
Tonasket Elementary School4thTonasketWA
Edgewood Elementary School2ndGreenfieldWI

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!


The purpose of the contest is to help teachers engage their students with their local parks. This national contest is open to all schools across the country and in the U.S. territories. Students can submit proposals for a KTP event at a park in their community. NPT will award scholarships up to the amount of $1,000 to winning entries for each class. Scholarships will be used by the winners to implement their KTP event during the month of May.

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