• 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.



Books are a great way to help you and your family to get ready for your next outdoor adventure. They can teach, inspire and entertain. Take a look at these 7 books, perfect for getting your kids and families outside more. 

  1. National Geographic Kids National Parks Guide USA - This book is the perfect way to bring the fun and amazement of these majestic places to kids. (Ages 8 and up)
  2. The Kids Outdoor Adventure Book: 448 Great Things to Do in Nature Before You Grow Up - This book is filled with ideas (448 to be exact) for getting your kids outside. (Ages 4-12)
  3. Citizen Scientists: Be a Part of Scientific Discovery from Your Own Backyard - This book gives families ideas for getting involved in citizen science, which can be done in backyards or local parks. (Ages 8-12)
  4. The Nature Connection: An Outdoor Workbook for Kids, Families and Classrooms - This is a very hands-on book, which offers up ideas for making the most out of nature. (Ages 8 and up)
  5. Look Up!: Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard - If you have a kid that has shown an interest in birds, this is a great book to add to your library. It’s filled with fun ideas. (Ages 8-12)
  6. The Down and Dirty Guide to Camping with Kids. Is camping in your future? - This book will help you get ready and make the most of the experience. (Ages 8 and up)
  7. We Love Nature: A Keepsake Journal for Families Who Love to Explore the Outdoors - This book is an interactive journal made to be written in, sketched in, etc. It has prompts to document 52 outdoor adventures. (Ages 3 and up) 
Blog post provided by National Park Trust staff and Ken Keffer and Stacy Tornio, creators of DestinationNature.net. Ken and Stacy are also the authors of The Kids’ Outdoor Adventure Book and We Love Nature.