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#FrankFriday – Chasing Light: An Exploration of the American Landscape

This summer, NPT Artist Ambassador Frank Lee Ruggles released his new book Chasing Light: An Exploration of the American Landscape. Published by Four Winds Trading, this beautiful book features an extraordinary collection of images from our national parks and public lands – an inspiration to not only photographers but to all park visitors and nature lovers.

Frank served as Eminent Photographer for the National Park Service from 2007 until 2011, a position once held by Ansel Adams. Pulling from his life’s work, Chasing Light features many of Frank’s award-winning images of national parks. Shining a light on these important places isn’t the only way Frank is supporting the parks, he is also donating 15% of the profits from book sales to National Park Trust to help further our mission of preserving parks today and creating park stewards for tomorrow.

Frank is currently on a book tour promoting Chasing Light and holding signings at bookstores and national parks across the country. Check out Frank’s website and see if he is coming to a city near you.

Bison Themed – #NationalTellAJokeDay

It’s #NationalTellAJokeDay, here are some of our favorite Bison themed jokes. 🤣😂😎 #BuddyBison

#FrankFriday – Bryce Canyon National Park

The sun dropping behind the horizon at Inspiration Point at Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah.

#FrankFriday #ChasingLight #BryceCanyonNationalPark #Utah

Learn more about Artist Ambassador Frank Lee Ruggles new book, Chasing Light, available now and click here to see more of his images.

#TBT: Joshua Tree National Park

#ThrowBackThursday: This Thursday is the anniversary of Joshua Tree National Park becoming an NPS site. On August 10, 1936​, ​​Joshua Tree National Monument was established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt thanks in large part to Minerva Hoyt and others who persuaded the state and federal governments to protect the area. Joshua Tree was elevated to a National Park in 1994​ ​ by the Desert Protection Act.

Did you know​?​ In 2001 NPT purchased an 80-acre in-holding in the park which contained a critical segment of the Rockhouse and Thermal Canyon Trail network. The property is​ ​also an excellent habitat for the chuckwalla, a large, shy lizard. NPT donated the parcel to the National Park Service (NPS) ​ensuring​​ its​ protection in perpetuity.

The property is located in a wild, rugged, and remote corner of the park affording visitors wonderful opportunities for solitude and a sense of discovery.

“As the population of the Coachella Valley continues to grow and expand toward the park, the value of NPT’s donation to Joshua Tree and the American public will only grow over time. The NPT donation will protect public access to this beautiful section of the park,” said then park Superintendent Ernie Quintana.

Joshua Tree National Park, located near Palm Springs, CA, became a national monument in 1936 and then a biosphere reserve in 1984. In 1994 it was established as a national park to protect and preserve a representative area of the Colorado and Mojave deserts and their natural and cultural resources for the benefit of this and future generations.

Click here for more information on our park preservation projects or contact Phil Selleck (301) 279-7275 ext. 14.

Photo courtesy of Frank Lee Ruggles

#WildlifeWednesday – Discovering the Wonderful World of Watkins

Earlier this summer, 20 kindergarten through 5th-grade students from Barbara Chambers Children’s Center (Washington, D.C.) traveled to the world of Watkins Regional Park (Upper Marlboro, MD). They started their day at this amazingly diverse park by hiking the Uplands Trail. Along the way the students identified trees, saw raccoon tracks, heard bird calls, and spotted 5 toads! Their hike ended at the Watkins Nature Center where park naturalist Paula McNeil led an animal demonstration. Highlights included feeding crickets to the American toad for lunch, watching the eastern box turtle “run” around on the floor, meeting the one-eyed barred owl, and getting up close to a Madagascar hissing cockroach.

After exploring the rest of the nature center, the students enjoyed a picnic lunch followed by free play on the wonderful Wizard-of-Oz themed playground. Not only did they get to climb around the Emerald City, but they also found a huge praying mantis. Nature is everywhere!

A special thanks to the Wyss Charitable Endowment for funding the school bus transportation and nature center program. It was truly a magical, nature-filled day!

Adventures in Archaeology

Our Buddy Bison Student Ambassador, Sarah Hullihen, visited Brandywine Springs Park in Delaware this month to take part in an archeological dig with The Friends of Brandywine Springs. Not only are parks a great place to explore outdoors, but they also help protect and preserve our shared history and culture. Read Sarah’s story below to find out what  “dazzling” history Sarah helped unearth:

“When you visit Brandywine Springs Park in New Castle County, Delaware, you will see tall trees, a beautiful creek, and many different types of wildlife. But what you might not know is that there once an amusement park here, with a boardwalk, roller coaster, carousel, and much more.

This park and historical site is one of my favorites so far. In the early 1800’s, there was a hotel where the parking lot of the park is today. People came to drink water from the Chalybeate Spring, and the water there was supposed to help keep you healthy. Later in the 1800’s, the amusement park opened and stayed open until 1924.

The Friends of Brandywine Springs is a volunteer group that does archaeological digs in the park. They have put up signs with pictures around the park to show the locations of different rides and buildings from the amusement park. When I was there, I helped with an archaeological dig to find the location of a ride called the Razzle Dazzle. The ride would be pulled manually with ropes for the ride to go up, down, and around.

During the dig, we were looking for a curb to show where the Razzle Dazzle ride would have been. We used tools, such as shovels, trowels, and brushes to dig around the area. We eventually did find it, and some other cool things too, like the end of a lightbulb, some electrical wire, and pieces of roofing. I also found out that archaeology can be very challenging, and many times when I thought that I had found something it turned out to just be a rock. The Friends of Brandywine Springs will be back to continue the dig here. The entire dig was a lot of fun and a great experience for me, so if you have a chance to do an archaeological dig like I did, I hope you give it a try!”

#FrankFriday – Bears in the Woods!

Artist Ambassador Frank Lee Ruggles with this adorable shot of bear cubs climbing trees and enjoying beautiful weather. This cuteness should help kick off your weekend on #FrankFriday!

#FrankFriday #Bears #ChasingLight

Learn more about Artist Ambassador Frank Lee Ruggles new book, Chasing Light, available now and click here to see more of his images.

PICTURED ROCKS NATIONAL LAKESHORE

 Thanks to generous support from The Carls Foundation, NPT will purchase an important historic property to benefit Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore (MI).

The Munising Range Lights and Keeper’s House complex, in service since 1908, is owned by the National Park Service (NPS) and still operated by the U.S. Coast Guard as an aid to navigation. The lights are arranged so that when a ship captain lines up one above the other, they will navigate safe passage along a channel into or out of the Munising Harbor.

Behind the Keeper’s House is a small piece of private property with a non-historic house. Purchasing the property and removing the non-historic house is a priority for the park because it would improve the historic site. The project puts NPT one step closer to its pledge to acquire and donate 100 high-priority properties to NPS, in commemoration of the NPS Centennial.

July 29 2017 – Top 5 Photos of the Week

ICYMI: check out this week’s top 5 photos from across our social media platforms and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! Then, “get out and go” and share your adventures with us!

#BuddyBison #KidstoParks

  

  • #BuddyBison Student Ambassador @jrrangertigran learning to use the Fox Telemetry unit on #SanMiguelIsland to track many of the island Fox!

    Posted on Instagram @nationalparktrust.

  • So excited to share the Outdoors Alliance for Kids (OAK) blog featuring two Buddy Bison students, Evie E. and Louise R.who shared how important the Every Kid in a Park program has been to them and their classmates.

    Posted on Facebook @nationalparktrust.

    Read more

  • 2017 was a record-breaking year for National Park Trust’s Kids to Parks (KTP) Day! More than 1-million people participated in over 1,700 Kids to Parks Day events coast to coast – Alaska and Hawaii, too! Plus 3,764 students from 70 schools representing 28 states and Washington, D.C. benefited from NPT’s Kids to Parks Day National School Contest.

    Posted on Facebook @nationalparktrust.

    Read more

  • This past week National Park Trust and Outdoors Alliance for Kids were awarded an Explore Fund grant from The North Face to empower the next generation of explorers and park stewards to get outdoors with our Buddy Bison School Program.

    Posted on Twitter @natparktrust.

    Read more

  • Thank you to our Artist Ambassador Frank Lee Ruggles and Four Winds Trading for joining together to support National Park Trust through the generous donation from sales of the book, “Chasing Light: An Exploration of the American Landscape” 15% of profits from each book sold will help fund NPT’s mission of preserving parks today, creating park stewards for tomorrow.

    Posted on Facebook @nationalparktrust.

    Read more

Sunshine Students Experience Arts in the Park

While some schools might be out on summer break, for many students in the Buddy Bison School Program, the fun never stops. Last week, 80 students from Sunshine Early Learning Center (D.C.) visited the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts – the only national park devoted solely to the performing arts – to see a performance in their Children’s Theater-in-the-Woods.

During the program, Listen, Wilhelmina!, the excited 3, 4 and 5-year olds learned about the opera, hearing live music from Wilhelmina Wombat and her friends. After the show, they discovered Wolf Trap’s meadow habitat with park rangers who used hands-on outdoor exploration to teach the children about pollinators and their role in the Virginia landscape. (See the NPT website for links to some amazing resources on pollinators.)

Many thanks to the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts and their Community Service Ticket Program for donating the theater tickets, and to the Wyss Charitable Endowment for funding the school bus transportation for this memorable day.

2017: A Record-Breaking Kids to Parks Day 

2017 was a record-breaking year for National Park Trust’s Kids to Parks (KTP) Day! More than 1-million people participated in over 1,700 Kids to Parks Day events coast to coast – Alaska and Hawaii, too! Plus 3,764 students from 70 schools representing 28 states and Washington, D.C. benefited from NPT’s Kids to Parks Day National School Contest.

Watch this short Kids to Parks Day summary video featuring many of the students, most from Title 1 schools, who received park grants this past school year. Each winning proposal–written by the students!–incorporated education, outdoor recreation, and park stewardship. A sincere thanks to our lead sponsor, Northside! Their support of KTP Day 2017 funded many of these park experiences.

Do you know of a Title I school that would benefit from a park grant? Then let them know that our next school contest will open in October 2017 and will be featured in an upcoming issue of NPT News.

Save the date, KTP Day 2018 is May 19th(Always the third Saturday in May.)

#FrankFriday – Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

“There’s magic in the hills of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in Utah. We must protect these treasured places forever.” ~ Artist Ambassador, Frank Lee Ruggles

#FrankFriday #GlenCanyonNationalRecreationArea #Utah

See more images from National Park Trust Artist Ambassador Frank Lee Ruggles. Click Here

 

#MonumentMonday – Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve

In 1997, National Park Trust purchased and donated 37 acres of land to the National Park Service for permanent protection as part of Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve. The parcel contained Little Cottonwood Creek, the main source of potable water in the monument. This project added to the diversity of plants and wildlife habitat and helped the park with natural resource protection; the parcel was the last remaining private land in the national monument.

Did you know: NASA used the park as an outdoor classroom to teach geology to astronauts, three of who walked on the moon? The idea was to teach them (they were pilots not scientists) which types of rocks would be most important to collect for moon research, to make the best use of the limited cargo space for the return to earth.

Though the geology of the park is volcanic, the lava flows are very young, the latest only about 2000 years old. From archeological records, it seems there were people (Native Americans) who probably saw it happening! They also used the volcanic rocks (obsidian and tachylyte) to make arrowheads for hunting game on the grassy sagebrush kipukas in the park, look it up at www.nps.gov/crmo.

Craters of the Moon was created along the Great Rift, a series of deep cracks, through several volcanic eruptions. The eruptions left a rugged landscape that is now a desert ecosystem and home to unique animal and plant species. learn more here.

In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, NASA visited the real Moon through the Apollo program and found that the surface of the moon is much different than this monument’s landscape. Although the two locations have very different landscapes, Apollo astronauts still trained at Craters of the Moon Lava Field in order to get used to an unfamiliar, harsh environment with various rock specimens. More info here.

July 9 2017- Top 5 Photos of the Week

In case you missed it, check out this week’s top 5 photos from across our social media platforms and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! Then, “get out and go” and don’t forget to share your adventures with us!

#BuddyBison #KidstoParks

  

  • Two Buddy Bison Students provided testimonials at a Congressional Briefing, organized by Outdoors Alliance for Kids (OAK), about the importance of the Every Kid in a Park Program. During the briefing it was announced that legislation would be introduced to encourage children to get outdoors and visit America’s public lands and waters.

    Senator Martin Heinrich (NM) and Senator Lamar Alexander (TN), along with Congresswoman Niki Tsongas (MA), Congressman Scott Tipton (CO), Congresswoman Diana DeGette (CO) and Rep. Elise Stefanik (NY) introduced the Every Kid Outdoors Act (S. 1522; H.R. 3186), to officially establish a federal program to give free access passes to fourth graders and their families to see America’s protected natural, historical, and cultural sites. The legislation will make sure the Every Kid in a Park program lives on. Read OAK’s press release here.

    Posted on Facebook @nationalparktrust.

    Read more

  • #FanFriday with @DHaga and a recent share of #BuddyBison! @SaguaroNPS 🌵

    Posted on Twitter @natparktrust.

    Read more

  • NPT participated in Outdoors Aliance for Kids’ Twitter party in support of the #EveryKidOutdoors Act. #OAKParty

    Posted on Twitter @natparktrust.

  • #BuddyBison and one of our Buddy Bison Student Ambassadors, @jrrangersarah, got to see beautiful water lilies @longwoodgardens in PA.

    Posted on Twitter @natparktrust.

    Read more

  • Check out Frank Lee Ruggles’ photo of Old Faithful and the Milky Way at Yellowstone National Park. Now it’s your turn, so get out and go!

    Posted on Twitter @natparktrust.

#FrankFriday – Old Faithful

Artist Ambassador Frank Lee Ruggles inspires us to look up! Capturing the beauty of our public lands with another beautiful #FrankFriday. Check out the iconic Old Faithful at Yellowstone National Park, but in a different light — under the Milky Way!

#FrankFriday #OldFaithful #Yellowstone #MilkyWay

See more images from National Park Trust Artist Ambassador Frank Lee Ruggles. Click Here

Buddy Bison Kids and Congress Lead the Way for Kids to Parks

Buddy Bison kids not only visit parks, they also help National Park Trust honor outstanding park conservationists. In June at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., Senator Lamar Alexander (TN) was recognized with the 17th Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award for all of the work he has done to protect and preserve our parks and public lands and waters. Sam Hijazi, Evie Elliott and Louise Raez-Gavilan from Creative Minds International Public Charter School congratulated the Senator for his accomplishments, talked about how valuable parks are to kids – and then presented him with a Buddy Bison, and a T-shirt.

Then this past Tuesday, Louise and Evie provided testimonials at a congressional briefing (pictured left), organized by Outdoors Alliance for Kids, about the importance of the Every Kid in a Park program. During the briefing it was announced that legislation would be introduced to encourage children to get outdoors and visit America’s public lands and waters. Yesterday, Senators Martin Heinrich (NM) and Lamar Alexander (TN), along with Representatives Niki Tsongas(MA), Scott Tipton (CO), Diana DeGette (CO) and Elise Stefanik (NY) introduced the Every Kid Outdoors Act to officially establish a federal program to give free access passes to fourth graders and their families to see America’s protected natural, historical, and cultural sites. The legislation will make sure the Every Kid in a Park program lives on.

Are you or someone in your family in 4th grade? Then download your own Every Kid in a Park voucher and get outdoors this summer!

July 2, 2017 – Top 5 Photos of the Week

In case you missed it, check out this week’s top 5 photos from across our social media platforms and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

#BuddyBison #KidstoParks

  

  • Check out our video as 4th graders from Donald McKay K-8 School
    in East Boston set sail with Buddy Bison and explored Spectacle Island.

    Posted on Facebook @nationalparktrust.

    Read more

  • Buddy Bison wishes a Happy Birthday to our awesome
    friends at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park!

    Posted on Instagram @nationalparktrust.

  • Looking for a travel companion this summer?
    Get your very own Buddy Bison and let the exploration begin!

    Posted on Facebook @nationalparktrust.

    Read more

  • Ranger Aaron with Buddy Bison at Eno River State Park in NC.
    Buddy Bison loves state parks!

    Posted on Instagram @nationalparktrust.

    Read more

  • Great shot from Artist Ambassador, Frank Lee Ruggles.
    Hope your weekend is out of this world!

    Posted on Instagram @nationalparktrust.

#FrankFriday – To The Moon!

Sometimes you just have to look up…to the moon! Great shot from Artist Ambassador, Frank Lee Ruggles!

See more images from National Park Trust Artist Ambassador Frank Lee Ruggles. Click Here

Donald McKay K-8 School Sails with Buddy Bison to Spectacle Island

Check out our 2-minute video as 80 4th graders from Donald McKay K-8 School in East Boston set sail last week with Buddy Bison and explored Spectacle Island, a part of the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area. Students hiked with park rangers and interpreters learning about the history of the island and its impact on the Boston Harbor.

Our wonderful sponsor The North Face taught the students how to set up a tent and pack a backpack for future adventures. Many thanks also to our other partners who made this day possible including the National Park Service, Outdoors Alliance for Kids, Boston Harbor Now, and the Massachusetts DCR. It was a terrific and memorable day!

Read the full press release here.

What are you doing this summer? Remember to share your park memories with us!

#BuddyBison #KidstoParks

 

#MonumentMonday – Statue Of Liberty National Monument

Happy #MonumentMonday! In honor of Independence Day, we are featuring the Statue of Liberty National Monument.

 

Did you know it took almost 30 years for Lady Liberty to turn green?  The green coating is also referred to as patina, and actually helps protect the copper from corrosion. This coating forms naturally over time though a chemical process called oxidation that occurs when copper is exposed to oxygen in the air.

 

Happy Fourth of July from your friends at National Park Trust!

 

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#FrankFriday – Devils Tower National Monument

National Park Trust Artist Ambassador Frank Lee Ruggles captures Devils Tower breaking through the fog and rain! What a beautiful capture!

#DevilsTowerNationalMonument #Wyoming #FrankFriday

See more images from National Park Trust Artist Ambassador Frank Lee Ruggles. Click Here

Scott Air Force Base Youth Programs explore Jefferson National Expansion Memorial

Check out our new 1 minute video of our day exploring Gateway Arch, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in St. Louis with our new friends from  Scott AFB Youth Programs. Park Rangers taught the students about the westward expansion, the fur trade and much more in the Old Courthouse. Then they got moving and picked up helpful tips for dealing with the heat from Ranger Rhonda! Very thankful for our partners and sponsors: National Park ServiceThe North Face and Outdoors Alliance for Kids.

Read more about this trip in the June 2017 edition of NPT News.

The Power of Partnerships: OAK Helps National Park Trust’s Kids to Parks Day Soar

Blog by Grace Lee, Executive Director of National Park Trust originally posted on OutdoorsAllianceforKids.org

Kids to Parks Day celebration at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine (Baltimore, MD).
Photo credit: Chris Rief, National Park Trust.

Last year during the centennial of the National Park Service, our national parks alone enjoyed more than 330 million park visitors. Great news – right? Unfortunately, most of their visitors are white and aging. Young people are our next generation of park stewards and outdoor enthusiasts, thus it’s critical for the future of our parks and public lands to engage and cultivate this important segment of society.

To address this problem, National Park Trust created Kids to Parks Day in 2011 to engage youth from diverse communities with the great outdoors. This country-wide park “holiday” is celebrated annually on the third Saturday of May, the weekend before Memorial Day.

In our first year, we were thrilled to engage 18,000 participants. Little do we know that in just 7 short years, our participation would soar to more than 1 million on May 20th, 2017!

What makes Kids to Parks Day hum? It’s all about the power of partnerships. Thanks to our many national collaborators and partners including the Outdoors Alliance for Kids (OAK), we’ve leveraged our combined “reach”, to engage 3.5 million youth over the years and across the country – promoting 1) education, 2) healthy outdoor recreation, and 3) environmental stewardship.

 One notable example, this year OAK member PBS Kids’ Nature Cat heard about National Park Trust during an OAK quarterly membership call. Nature Cat contacted National Park Trust and together we teamed-up (along with National Park Trust’s mascot Buddy Bison) for three signature Kids to Parks Day events at Ft. McHenry (Baltimore, MD), Constitution Gardens (Washington, D.C.) and Channel Islands (Ventura, CA). These events were three of the more than 1,700 family-friendly park programs that were available across the country on May 20th and posted on our site – many of the events were either hosted, organized, and/or promoted by OAK members!

Kids to Parks Day celebration at Constitution Gardens with Buddy Bison and Nature Cat.
Photo credit: Chris Rief, National Park Trust. 

However, Kids to Parks Day (KTP) is not just about one day of outdoor recreation – it promotes year-round use of parks by kids and their families. KTP Day gives life to National Park Trust mascot, Buddy Bison’s message: “Explore outdoors, the parks are yours!”

We look forward to working with OAK next year to get even more kids outdoors on Kids to Parks Day 2018 –May 19th!

 

2017 Pollinator Week

This week is all abuzz with news about pollinators! Check out how some of our friends and partners are celebrating #PollinatorWeek!

National Environmental Education Foundation

National Park Service

  • The National Park Service explains how, “Our own well-being and the welfare of our planet rests upon (pollinators) wings“.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

U.S. Department of Agriculture

U.S. Forest Service

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

#FrankFriday – Glacier Point

National Park Trust Artist Ambassador Frank Lee Ruggles captures the light breaking over Yosemite Valley from Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park to get us to the weekend!

#California #GlacierPoint #Yosemite

See more images from National Park Trust Artist Ambassador Frank Lee Ruggles. Click Here

National Park Trust Honors Sen. Lamar Alexander (TN) with 2017 Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award

National Park Trust Honors Sen. Lamar Alexander (TN) with 2017 Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Washington, D.C. (June 14, 2017) – National Park Trust (NPT) awards Sen. Lamar Alexander (TN) the 17th Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

“Senator Alexander is recognized for his extraordinary efforts to support our national parks and public lands,” said Grace Lee, executive director, National Park Trust.

In his work on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Environment, Sen. Alexander has been a dedicated and strong supporter of our national parks. He is honored for his exemplary work on the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, where he serves on the Subcommittee on National Parks.  As a member of this committee, he demonstrates his commitment to protect our national heritage by sponsoring legislation to incorporate hallowed ground into Shiloh National Military Park and give special designation to Parker’s Crossroad Battlefield. Senator Alexander has also sponsored legislation to take the next step in preserving former President James K. Polk’s home in Columbia, Tenn., as a site within the National Park System.

He supports permanently reauthorizing and full funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund and has worked to protect wild lands through sponsorship of an act to designate 20,000 acres of land in the Cherokee National Forest as federal wilderness. Most recently in April 2017, he co-sponsored the National Park Service Legacy Act, legislation that would help to reduce NPS’s $12 billion maintenance backlog, including $232 million for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

According to NPT Board Chair Bill Brownell, “Sen. Alexander has demonstrated leadership in creating the next generation of conservationists by working to ensure that everyone, regardless of their age, ethnicity or income level will have access to our parks and public lands.” This is further exemplified by his co-sponsorship of a Senate Resolution in 2016 and 2017 in support of Kids to Parks Day.

“Documentarian Ken Burns called the U.S. National Park Service, ‘America’s best idea’ – and I couldn’t agree more. Growing up in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, I learned to appreciate our national parks and public places at an early age, and I have put that love for the outdoors to work as a United States Senator, trying to protect our parks, help make the air cleaner, and provide protected open spaces so that our children and grandchildren can enjoy the outdoors as I did,” Senator Alexander said. “I am grateful for this award, but really it’s the National Park Trust that deserves praise for its work in protecting and preserving national parks and connecting children to the Great American Outdoors.”

“Senator Lamar Alexander’s decades of service in Washington, D.C. and at home in Tennessee, will not only help to preserve America’s national parks today, but also guarantee that they will be here for the enjoyment of future generations,” added NPT Board Chair Bill Brownell.

NPT established the Vento Award in 2000 to honor the memory and legacy of Bruce F. Vento, a twelve-term Congressman from Minnesota, dedicated environmentalist and a champion of legislation for America’s parks. The award honors a public servant for his or her commitment to the environment, and his service, skill and innovation in support of our public lands. Past recipients include Congresswoman Betty McCollum (MN), Senator Rob Portman (OH), Senator Ron Wyden (OR), Congressman Mike Simpson (ID), Senator Jeff Bingaman (NM), Senator Susan Collins (ME), Senator Mark Udall (CO), Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (CA), Senator Harry Reid (NV), Congressman George Miller (CA), Senator John McCain (AZ), and Congressman John Lewis (GA).

All proceeds from the event benefit NPT’s park preservation and youth programs.

ABOUT NATIONAL PARK TRUST
National Park Trust is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving parks today and creating park stewards for tomorrow.  Since 1983, NPT’s land preservation projects have benefited more than 40 national parks. In 2009, NPT launched its nationally recognized Buddy Bison School Program which currently supports 62 Title I elementary and middle schools. Since 2011, NPT has organized Kids to Parks Day, an annual national celebration of America’s parks hosted on the third Saturday in May. More details about NPT and this award can be found at www.parktrust.org.

Press Contact: Grace Lee, NPT Executive Director at grace@parktrust.org or 301-279-7275, ext. 11.

#FrankFriday – Vernal Fall

National Park Trust Artist Ambassador Frank Lee Ruggles is always ‘chasing light’ and you can see it in this beautiful image from Yosemite National Park. Vernal Fall is a 300+ foot waterfall in the Merced River of the Yosemite Valley.

#California #Yosemite #FrankFriday

See more images from National Park Trust Artist Ambassador Frank Lee Ruggles. Click Here

#FrankFriday – 1 Week To Kids To Parks Day

We like to think that every day is a great day to get to a park, but especially on May 20th! Kids to Parks Day is our national day of outdoor play and it is just a week away! Come join the grassroots movement to get outside and enjoy your parks big or small. You might even be able to take in a view like this one from our artist ambassador, Frank Lee Ruggles!

#Arizona #FrankFriday #KidsToParks

See more images from National Park Trust Artist Ambassador Frank Lee Ruggles. Click Here

The413Mom: Kids to Parks Day is coming up May 20! We’re celebrating with an awesome giveaway! #kidstoparks #natparktrust #getoutside

There are a lot of great KTP events happening in the Eastern part of the state, which you can find out about here. But you don’t have to participate in a sponsored event in order to take the pledge and enter to win some great prizes. You can have your own adventure right here at your favorite local park. After all, National Park Trust’s motto is “Explore outdoors, the parks are yours.”

Photo Credit: The413Mom

Tigran’s Travels with Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke

Buddy Bison Student Ambassador with Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke at Channel Islands National Park. Photo courtesy of Vahagn Nahabedian.

Our Buddy Bison Student Ambassador, Tigran Nahabedian, was recently invited to give a special tour of Channel Islands National Park to the new Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke. In addition to learning about the wildlife and history of the islands, Tigran and Secretary Zinke discussed the importance of our nation’s parks and ways to improve them for the future. Read about Tigran’s account of their meeting below:

“On April 17, 2017 Commander Ryan Zinke came to Channel Islands National Park to learn about the islands, wildlife, history, its use and to talk about how he is going to make the parks a better place. Commander Zinke has the authority and power to help the national parks because he is the Secretary of the Interior. I became interested in Commander Zinke when he was nominated to become Secretary of the Interior and I started to research him, I read his book American Commander and everything I could find about him on the internet. He was the Commander of Seal Team Six, a congressman from Montana and he enjoys hunting and fishing.

I wrote him a letter in January before he was confirmed as Secretary of the Interior and said that I was very excited he was going to solve the deferred maintenance issue in our parks. Deferred maintenance is when something falls into disrepair like a dock or a road and the park managers say we will fix it later because we do not have the money now. It is a huge problem with over 12 billion dollars in needed repairs.

Our national parks are as American as our national flag. Just consider Mount Rushmore, the Statue of Liberty, Fort McHenry and the flag that inspired the Star Spangled Banner, the Liberty Bell, and the battlefields that shaped this nation: all of these places are national parks.

Secretary Zinke wrote me a letter and invited me to give him a tour of Channel Islands National Park.

We left from Santa Barbara and went to Prisoner’s Harbor on Santa Cruz Island. We saw dolphins and sea lions on the crossing and I spent the trip across the channel talking to the Secretary, his wife, his staff, rangers and other visitors. I was one of the only people outside of his staff that knew he was going to the islands and it was really special to me because it was National Park Week.

I was able to talk to the Secretary about the recovery of the island fox, the fastest recovery of a mammal under the Endangered Species Act. I gave him a fox photograph to remind him that when we put our minds to solving a problem we can achieve great things with strong partnerships.

We also discussed the deferred maintenance issue, and I showed him pictures from the Channel Islands National Park and Tule Spring Fossil Beds National Monument. Tule Springs is a new National Monument and for years people have dumped trash on the monument lands. The Secretary agreed that this is an easy problem to solve and must be solved.

I left the Islands and returned home feeling that the National Parks are in good hands and confident that the Secretary will help the parks to the best of his ability. His role model is Theodore Roosevelt, and he is fond of quoting the Roosevelt Arch at Yellowstone that the parks are for the ‘Benefit and Enjoyment of the People.’ I am looking forward to working with him again in the future. As Secretary Zinke says, ‘We all rise and fall on the same tide.'”

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