Author Archive

Robert (Bobby) Forristal

Growing up in the Washington, DC area, Bobby gained a deep appreciation for the outdoors early on, as his family regularly explored public spaces such as Shenandoah National Park, the Billy Goat Trail, and Calvert Cliffs State Park. This led him to feel strongly that not only should our parks be preserved and expanded but also that spending time in parks is greatly beneficial to our mental and physical health, especially for children.

As Communications and Programs Manager, Bobby leads the organization’s overall communications strategy and manages one of NPT’s signature programs, National Kids to Parks Day.

Bobby studied at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Government and Politics, minored in Geospatial Information Science, and hiked locally with the Terrapin Trail Club. During the summer months of his college years, Bobby served on the Ocean City, MD Beach Patrol, protecting beach patrons and responding to emergencies. Prior to joining NPT, Bobby taught English in Vietnam for two years before returning to the USA and beginning a career in communications.

Apply Now for a Free Park Trip!

Kids to Parks Day is May 16, 2020! National Park Trust (NPT) 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, NPT 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 event 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 as well. Your entries should explain how your experience will promote education, health and wellness, and park stewardship. NPT will award park grants up to $1,000 to winning entries. We encourage schools to implement their Kids to Parks Day event during the month of May 2020 but exceptions can be made based on school schedules.

The Contest opens October 23rd, 2019 and all entries are due by February 14th, 2020.

To learn more, or to apply, visit



State City School
Alaska Anchorage Chinook Elementary School – Girl Scout Troop 390
Wasilla Finger Lake Elementary School – 4th Grade (Ms. Heintzman)
Wasilla Finger Lake Elementary School – 4th Grade (Mr. Schwartz)
Arizona Tucson AmeriSchools Academy
Flagstaff Sinagua Middle School
California Coalinga Coalinga High School
King City Del Rey Elementary School
Moreno Valley Moreno Valley High School
Los Angeles Ninth Street School
Shafter Shafter Youth Center
Bell Gardens St. Gertrude the Great School
Colorado Saguache Mountain Valley School
Delaware Newark Wilson Elementary School – 3rd Grade
Newark Wilson Elementary School – 4th Grade
District of Columbia Washington, DC Dorothy Height Elementary School
Florida Enterprise Enterprise Elementary School
Boyton Beach SouthTech Academy
Georgia Douglasville Arbor Station Elementary School
Fort Gaines Clay County Elementary School
Covington Middle Ridge Elementary School
Hawaii Captain Cook Honaunau Elementary School
Honoka’a Honoka’a High School
Lihu’e Kawaikini New Century Public Charter School
Idaho Aberdeen Aberdeen Middle School
Council Council High School
Pocatello Jefferson Elementary School – 5th Grade (Ms. Leavitt)
Pocatello Jefferson Elementary School – 5th Grade (Ms. Phelps)
Pocatello Jefferson Elementary School – 5th Grade (Mr. Richardson)
Caldwell Notus Elementary School
Illinois Donovan Donovan Elementary School
Monmouth United West Elementary School
Kansas Wichita Jardine STEM and Career Explorations Academy
Louisiana Scott Scott Middle School – 5th Grade
Scott Scott Middle School- 6th Grade
Scott Scott Middle School – 7th Grade
Scott Scott Middle School – 8th Grade
Maryland Baltimore Catonsville Education Center – RICA (Ms. Wasserbach)
Baltimore Catonsville Education Center – RICA – (Mr. Friedlander)
Elkton Cecil Manor Elementary School
Silver Spring Harmony Hills Elementary School
Silver Spring Jackson Road Elementary School (Proposal Prepared by the Bullis School)
Michigan Sparta Appleview Elementary School
Burr Oak Burr Oak High School – 7th Grade
Burr Oak Burr Oak High School – 9th Grade
Calumet Horizons Alternative High School – 10th Grade
Calumet Horizons Alternative High School – 11th Grade
Calumet Horizons Alternative High School – 12th Grade
Grand Rapids Southeast Kelloggsville Elementary School
Missouri St. Louis Marian Middle School
Maitland Nodaway-Holt Elementary School
Nebraska Sioux City Swett Elementary School
New Jersey Cape May Court House Middle Township High School
Somerset Pine Grove Manor School
New York Cheektowaga Cheektowaga Central High School
Brooklyn P.S. 7 Abraham Lincoln School
Wellsville Wellsville YMCA After-School Program
North Dakota Valley City Jefferson Elementary School
Ohio Cleveland Malachi Center
Mt. Gilead Mount Gilead Elementary School
Akron National Inventors Hall of Fame STEM Middle School
Oklahoma Stuart Stuart School
Oregon Milwaukie Sabin Schellenberg Professional Technical Center
Puerto Rico Toa Alta Manuel Velilla Cabrera Middle
Tennessee Afton Chuckey-Doak Middle School
Smithville Smithville Elementary School
Texas McAllen Lamar Academy
Dallas Trinity Environmental Academy
Houston YES Prep Northbrook High School
Virginia Alexandria Bucknell Elementary School – 4th Grade (Ms. Ganjei)
 Alexandria Bucknell Elementary School – 4th Grade (Ms. McKinney)
Richmond Franklin Military Academy
Glen Allen Greenwood Elementary School
Newport News Greenwood Elementary School
Lynchburg Heritage High School
Highland Springs Highland Springs High School
Henrico Lakeside Elementary School
Washington Montesano Simpson Elementary School
Tonasket Tonasket Elementary School
Wisconsin Laona Laona High School

Arts in Parks

October is Arts in Parks month! Whether you are inspired by a park to create your own art, wish to visit an artist in residence at a park, or tour a historic site to learn about an artist, the National Park system has so much to offer! To learn more about the artistic happenings in our parks, available all year long, visit

Four of NPT’s Buddy Bison Youth Leadership team participated in the #ParkArt challenge this month, check out their creative works of art below:

Photographed by Clara

Drawn by Penny

Painted by Sofia

Painted by Audrey

Nina Marti

Nina has always had a curiosity for nature and wildlife. However, it wasn’t until she took up rock climbing in 2018 that her affinity for the outdoors really blossomed. Since then, she has been tackling a bucket list of national parks, discovering new favorites such as Mount Rainier in Washington state.

Nina graduated from The Catholic University of America with a Bachelor of Arts in Theater. Before joining the NPT team, Nina worked as a teaching artist, an arts administrator, and a project manager for an education technology company.

As Education Coordinator, Nina connects Title I schools with fully-funded field trip opportunities in their area. She works with approximately 20 schools in California, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, and Washington, DC. Through her work with NPT, Nina aspires to create meaningful experiences for students, fostering a love of the outdoors and a sense of responsibility for the environment.