Kids to Parks Day (KTP) is an annual nationwide day of play organized by National Park Trust (NPT). The goal is to engage kids across the country with parks and public lands to promote environmental stewardship and healthy outdoor living. At the heart of the initiative is Buddy Bison, NPT’s mascot whose message to children and their families is to “Explore outdoors, the parks are yours!”
Below is Kids to Parks Day 2013 by the numbers:
• 418,000 online media hits (121% increase over 2012)
• More than 139,000 participants (28% increase)
• 306 mayors in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. issued proclamations (17% increase)
• 10 Governors proclaimed May 18 as KTP Day (AR, CO, FL, MD, MI, MO, TX, VT, WV, WY)
• America’s state parks in 14 states hosted events at more than 186 parks (133% increase)
• Senate resolution passed – Introduced by Senator Mark Udall (D-CO)
o Co-sponsored by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Senator Rob Portman (R-OH)
• 367 park events were registered on www.kidstoparks.org (46% increase)
This year NPT sponsored the third annual national classroom contest encouraging children to create their own KTP Day event. The three main goals for the contest are:
• To engage children with the health and wellness benefits of outdoor park recreation
• To teach students about the unique science, history etc. about the park
• To inspire a generation of conservation leaders and stewards that will take action to protect their parks
Winning schools are awarded scholarships to implement their park trips; each scholarship includes transportation funds. More than 70% of this year's contest winners qualify for free or reduced-price lunch.
NPT is pleased this year to award 43 schools with park scholarships that will benefit 3,200 students, grades preK through 12, representing 29 states. For a full list of contest winners click here.
Kids to Parks Day is officially in support of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative, engaging hundreds of Let’s Move Cities and Towns each year.