Buddy Bison’s Buzz October Update

Are You Ready to Party?

On October 22nd I’m celebrating my birthday by getting outside with my friends and planning a party that everyone can join! Parks are the perfect place to host parties. To help you plan your own birthday (or celebrate mine!) I will be sharing some great game ideas this month on social media. Make sure you follow National Park Trust on Facebook and Twitter to get free downloadable content like Pin the Tail on the Buddy.

You can also celebrate my birthday by getting your own Buddy Bison. Each little Buddy sale provides one student from a Title I school with a park trip.





Our DC Buddy Bison Schools are back to school—and back to parks! We traveled all over the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area exploring and celebrating federal public lands. Don’t forget to take YOUR Buddy on adventures with you this fall too. Use our Park Finder to help you explore outdoors!
Neval Thomas Elementary Students standing in front of Eleanor Roosevelt's memorial in Washington DC

Neval Thomas Elementary Students in front of Eleanor Roosevelt’s memorial in Washington, DC

Neval Thomas Elementary’s 3rd graders visited one of the many national parks in their “backyard,” the National Mall and Memorial Parks (DC). There, they met many rangers who told them the stories of the great people memorialized in downtown Washington, DC. They explored the symbolism at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial and found clues to Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s story at his monument. Then they discovered Lincoln’s place in history and learned their own responsibility to help finish Martin Luther King, Jr’s work.

Thanks Pepco for providing volunteers and transportation for this long-time Buddy Bison School!

West Education Campus student snorkels in the George Washington & Jefferson National Forest

West Education Campus student snorkels in the George Washington & Jefferson National Forest

West Education Campus 5th graders took the plunge, and went freshwater snorkeling in
the George Washington & Jefferson National Forest (VA) this month. The students took turns wriggling into wetsuits and joined educators from the US Forest Service in the stream just off the Lion’s Tail Trailhead. While underwater, the students were looking for small fish, crayfish, insects, and plants. Students also participated in a stream survey with educators from NorthBay and the Chevy Chase Audubon Society. Using dip-nets, students caught critters in their nets and identified what species of insects they found.

A huge thank you to the US Forest Service for making this aquatic adventure possible.

Washington Jesuit Academy in Antietam National Battlefield

Washington Jesuit Academy journeyed to Antietam National Battlefield with their 8th graders, the site of the bloodiest battle during the Civil War. After touring the battlefield on their own, they met with a ranger who showed them how both Confederate and Union soldiers communicated with each other on the battlefield, as well as the steps required to fire a cannon. The students used a cipher disk and swung flags in simple patterns to send coded messages to each other across a field. Then they learned how the cannons worked. They took turns playing the different roles and raced each other to see who could complete all the steps the fastest. The 8th graders had a great time! Thank you to the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation for making this trip possible.


A student from Seaton Elementary holds a leaf during her visit to the Washington Youth Garden within the US National Arboretum

Seaton Elementary in the Washington Youth Garden within the US National Arboretum

Seaton Elementary and their 2nd graders traveled to the US National Arboretum, where they explored the Washington Youth Garden and the “Fern Valley” trail. In the garden, they used all five of their senses to experience the plants that are grown there. They also learned about the importance of pollinators, tasted honey, and observed the decomposers (earthworms) that help turn dead plants back into soil. In Fern Valley, the students saw what their neighborhoods would be like if humans didn’t live there. They saw frogs and turtles. Just like in the garden, they used their five senses to make observations about the plant life on the trail.

Let’s give a Buddy Bison shout-out to DecisionPoint for sponsoring this school for another year of adventure!



Viewing wildlife can be one of the most exciting moments during any park visit. Buddy Bison Student Ambassador Tigran was on a quest this summer to find a moose at Rocky Mountain National Park. Check out Tigrans blog to see if he was successful!