• 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

    2013 ANNUAL REPORT

  • 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.




You’ll never have a problem finding something to do in a park. The only limit is your imagination. Check out these 15 great ideas for getting involved in your local park. We organized them by three categories—stewardship, healthy living and education. Of course, they’re just suggestions. The availability of park amenities might vary from one place to the next. But we hope they inspire you to get out and enjoy your local park, and even come up with some of your own ideas. These could keep you busy for weeks! 

STEWARDSHIP

  1. Organize a clean up or litter removal program within a local park.
  2. Plant a tree. It’ll be fun to go back and check on it over the years as it grows.
  3. Help remove invasive species—parks often need help pulling up invasive weeds.
  4. Inquire about helping with trail restoration or creation.
  5. Plant something. You can look at planting seeds, native plants or more.

HEALTHY LIVING

  1. Enjoy a “Kids to Parks” Olympics event. See if there are some KTP Olympics in your area. It’s a fun way to get active!
  2. Go on a run. Many parks have these, and it’s a great way to raise money for a worthy cause.
  3. Canoe or kayak at your local park. Contact your local park to check availability.
  4. Go for a bike ride. You might even be able to find a local bike race or event.
  5. Have a picnic. Pack up a lunch and go to a picnic area near you. You can even reserve picnic areas for larger gatherings.

EDUCATION

  1. Go on a historic or walking tour in your local park.
  2. Visit the ranger center or museum. Even if you’ve passed it by in the past, it’s worth making a stop.
  3. Enroll in an educational program. Many parks have programs year-round. See what you can sign up for.
  4. Challenge yourself to identify the plants and animals in your local park.
  5. Complete the Buddy Bison Adventure Book. We promise you’ll learn something along the way!

Guys, the point is GET OUT AND GO!

Blog post provided by National Park Trust staff and Ken Keffer and Stacy Tornio, creators of DestinationNature.net