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Kids to Parks Day National School Contest

Kids to Parks Day is May 16, 2020! National Park Trust invites students across the country to participate in the 10th annual Kids to Parks Day, a nationwide grassroots movement to celebrate America’s parks and public lands.

In honor of this day, the Park Trust is once again hosting the Kids to Parks Day National School Contest to help educators engage their students with their local parks. This national contest is open to all Title I schools in the United States (grades pre-K through 12). Classes can receive funding for a Kids to Parks Day field trip at a local park or public land/waterway in their community.

Students must research and write the proposal themselves. (Though we encourage teachers to provide support and feedback!) Teachers and staff will also have a short section to complete. Your entries should explain how your experience will promote education, health and wellness, and park stewardship. National Park Trust will award park grants up to $1,000 to winning entries. We encourage schools to plan their Kids to Parks Day field trip during the month of May 2020 but exceptions can be made based on school schedules. Last year, 79 grants were awarded.

All entries are due by February 14th, 2020. See contest information below for more details on how to apply.

  • Contest Information

    Contest Information

    How to enter:

    1. Students and Teachers must complete the three-page entry form.
    2. Winners will receive: PDF
    3. Email, mail, or fax the proposal to:
      National Park Trust
      c/o Kids to Parks Day School Contest
      401 E. Jefferson Street
      Suite 207
      Rockville, MD 20850 or
      Fax: (301) 279-7211

      If you have any questions, please email or call Emily Edgar at (301) 279-7275 ext. 22

  • Sample Contest Entries

    Sample Contest Entries

    We encourage everyone to be as creative as possible with your contest entries. Feel free to include videos, pictures, drawings, and/or letters. Below are some examples of past winning entries that can serve as a guide.

    Questions? Contact Billy Schrack at (301) 279-7275

  • Past Winners

    Past Winners

    View past winners of our National School Contest.

  • Testimonials


    “Me and my friends had so much fun compared to any other field trip. I’ve never had that much in my life!” – Jasmine, 1st grader at Chinook Elementary, AK

    “When we first got up to the canyon it was amazing and I could feel the breeze up against my face standing there. There were many trees and caves on the side of the canyon and in it too. There was even some snow. It was so cool. I’ve never had an experience like that one and I will never forget that experience.” – Ashlee, 5th grader, AmeriSchools Academy, AZ

    “Thanks for all that you’ve done and given us. I enjoyed cleaning the streets and painting the trash cans. I really enjoyed the opportunity to help my community. I felt happy because I like to have a role in the community.” – Maria, 6th grade, Fair Haven School, CT

    “[This] was a great way for us to experience the serenity of the natural environment while connecting concepts we learned in our AP class. Going on a hike was so relaxing. I loved seeing all the different components of the ecosystem that make the Pinelands so beautiful and diverse! It made me realize how much incredible beauty we have in our little state, not so far from home. It certainly enriched the scope of my education in this class. I cannot thank you enough for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything else!” – Emma, student, Middle Township High, NJ

    “The number one takeaway for my class from this trip was one word: Access. In this case, access does not only mean the ability to travel to this important, culturally and environmentally significant sites. It is access to the information and knowledge contained in this sites, the people in them, and the stories behind them. One of the greatests engagement challenges I have in class is showing students all these amazing sites via computer, book, or other media. When these structures, hills, mountains, beaches, ponds, animals, and people are right in front of them, and they can touch, smell, and talk to them, that is when long lasting, impactful, learning happens. This type of access would not be possible for my class without the Kids to the Park program, and I am eternally grateful for the opportunities it has provided my class in the past, and what it will provide in the future.” – Christopher Pike, 3rd grade teacher, Honaunau ES, HI

    “I have been told numerous times by parents, people in the community, and teachers that they can tell which students have attend the IREP trip. These kids come away with skills that cannot be taught in the classroom… I believe students come back realizing how much we impact nature and how to be more environmentally friendly in their daily lives.” – Jessica Hingtgen, 7th grade teacher, Maquoketa Middle School, IA

    “Many students had negative preconceptions about the excursion but it was so rewarding to hear them on the return, talking about how much they enjoyed the experience and how they want to visit again. Many students faced some fears and came out stronger on the other side of rocks, inclines, insects, tight spaces and fear of the unknown. We are very grateful for the opportunity you granted us.” – Camille Tulcewicz, Teacher, Maple Heights High, OH

  • Promotional Images

    Promotional Images