NPT News June Update

Did you know everyone lives in a shed? A watershed, that is! Nearly 800 Buddy Bison students recently learned that a watershed is an area of land where all the water – creeks, streams, even runoff from roads – flows into one large body of water. A big Buddy Bison round of applause to the Bunting Family, Tom and Kathy Hewitt, the Washington Duke Inn, and Georgia-Pacific Foundation for making these trips possible.


Beacon Heights Elementary (MD) 5th graders visited the Washington Youth Garden (DC) at the U.S. National Arboretum. They used their five senses to explore both the garden and the “Fern Valley” exhibit where they experienced what their neighborhood would be like if left untouched by humans. Plus, volunteers from Pepco joined us to help out including Pepco Region President, Donna Cooper.



Frederick Elementary (MD) and Neval Thomas Elementary (DC) 3rd graders spent their morning at the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center discovering the amazing adaptations of oysters and the essential role these filter feeders play in the health of the Bay. The students from Frederick then learned how to find geocaches on a hike around the park, and Neval Thomas used dip nets to explore the bay for creatures!



Powe Elementary 2nd graders and The Emily K Center (NC) journeyed to Falls Lake State Recreation Area where they met up with Frog Hollow Outfitters, Sarah P. Duke Gardens, and state park rangers for a day of canoeing, hiking, and fishing! They learned several different ways to enjoy the lake while preserving it for other people to enjoy.



M. Agnes Jones Elementary (GA) explored the unique ecosystems of Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve. Using dip-nets, they caught aquatic animals in one of the park’s vernal pools, determining that the water was pretty healthy. Plus, they hiked to the top of the mountain!



Four schools that are part of the 100% Project in Baltimore went to Oregon Ridge Nature Center (MD) and investigated the different bodies of water in the park. They performed “stream studies” on each one to figure out how healthy they were. All the kids returned home with a better idea of how their own actions affect their water. HERO volunteers from Caesar’s Foundation joined us to help out, not just in Baltimore, but with schools across the country this spring, from SAGE Center in Missouri and Metropolis Elementary in Illinois, to Pennsylvania Avenue Elementary in New Jersey.



Nothing says summer like a campfire and s’mores! Because of a generous gift from the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation, 250 Buddy Bison students from the Washington, DC area had their first camping experience.

Howard University Middle, Woodbridge Public Charter, and Stuart-Hobson Middle all traveled to Prince William Forest Park (VA) where staff from NatureBridge led them in discovering the park. These kids didn’t just hike, they also practiced their scientific inquiry skills and collected data points and samples for the National Park Service.



Washington School for Girls, West Education Campus, and Stuart-Hobson Middle trekked to Hemlock Overlook Regional Park in Northern Virginia. There, they practiced their team-building skills on ropes courses both low and high, as well as explored the local ecology.



E.W. Stokes Public Charter visited Calvert Cliffs State Park in southern Maryland. There, they sent up camp, hunted for fossils on the beach, and learned about the 40 million-year-old creatures they could find.





Buddy Bison Student Ambassador Tigran shares how he tested his skills on a 100-mile journey through Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. Find out what he learned on his most challenging outdoor experience ever and how he is starting a new chapter with NPT—as an Ambassador Alumni! Read about his journey here.

Buddy Bison’s Buzz May Update

6th graders from Aberdeen Middle School (ID) with their new Hydro Flask water bottles.

Thanks to Hydro Flask and their “Parks for All” program, 50 Title I schools were awarded park grants as winners of our Kids to Parks Day School Contest.  And ten of these lucky grant winners also received their very own Hydro Flask water bottles, all sporting our shiny logo! Our students will be well-hydrated as they explore parks all over the country, from Niagara Falls to Yellowstone National Park. Find out how Aberdeen Middle School’s 6th graders from Idaho will be enjoying AND helping Yellowstone on their Kids to Parks Day trip.  At Yellowstone, they’ll learn about the park’s geothermal activity and help park rangers clean up litter surrounding the Morning Glory pool. 

Thanks Hydro Flask, for helping us drink plenty of water when we explore outdoors!

Each of our 4 Buddy Bison Student Ambassadors are hosting Kids to Parks Day events across the country. Join them and you could win special Jr Ranger gear thanks to our partner Eastern National. As an added bonus, each ambassador will also have a specially made National Park Trust Passport Cancellation Stamp available for collectors of all ages.

Ambassador Tigran will be at Channel Islands National Park, CA on Saturday, May 18. You can join him to participate in a beach clean up at Ventura Harbor Cove, or enjoy ranger-led programs, citizen science projects, and/or a scavenger hunt at the Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center.





Thanks to Ambassador Sarah who kicked off Kids to Parks Day at Castle Clinton National Monument in NYC on Thursday, May 16th! Sarah joined PBS Kids’ Nature Cat for a welcome celebration, and enjoyed several special education stations as kids completed their Jr Ranger Program.





Ambassador Bryan will be at Pecos National Historical Park, NM on Saturday, May 18th to host some  family events that range from a Yucca Sandal Making Workshop to a presentation by New Mexico Wildlife Center.





Ambassador Audrey will be at the Asheville (Milepost 384) Visitor Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway, NC on Saturday, May 18th. Stop in to meet Audrey, explore the visitor center and complete your Junior Ranger Program.

Students Reduce Carbon Footprint and Win $1,500

Lake Tahoe Environmental Science Magnet School Students Win National Award

Originally published on April 26, 2019 by South Tahoe Now.

MEYERS, Calif. – Fourth graders in Alissa Behrendt’s class at Lake Tahoe Environmental Science Magnet School (LTESMS) just became one of the three top classes in the nation after participating in the Buddy Bison Carbon Reduction Contest.

Photo by Audra Naccarato

For their efforts, the class was given $1,500!

For ten weeks the students reduced their carbon footprint by cutting back on their use of electricity, unplugging items Sponsor of the contest, the National Parks Trust, sent weekly emails to the class, giving them a topic and suggested activities. They learned about conservation, sustainability, and environmental stewardship.

The students also created posters about reducing their carbon footprint.

Ms. Behrendt said it was all on the kids to make it work. They received bonus points for taking what they learned at school and put it to use at home. The students tracked their activities, collected data and submitted it to the National Parks Trust.

“The team members of Harrah’s and Harveys Lake Tahoe are grateful to the Caesars Foundation and the National Parks Trust for providing this wonderful opportunity to the 4th-grade students at LTESMS. Through their commitment to the stewardship of our planet, these bright young students exemplify the hope of a safe and healthy planet for generations to come,” said the local casino representatives. Some of their staff helped the students celebrate their recognition.

Photo by Audra Naccarato

A school in Illinois and another in Pennsylvania were the other winners.

The students will be using their prize money to help fund their field trip to “Great Basin Outdoors,” and camp in eastern Nevada.

Buddy Bison’s Buzz April Update

What’s greater than going to parks? Saving parks! National Park Trust teamed up with Caesars Foundation to host a “Carbon Reduction Contest” at three schools across the country.

Together, we worked with the students to reduce their carbon footprints and conserve water. In turn, that will help our parks last into the future. The students tackled nine different action items, including reducing their use of paper, energy, and single-use plastic bottles. Plus, they were challenged to switch to reusable grocery bags and to take a look at how their food choices affect their environmental impact.

Thanks to their efforts, 16,321 pounds of greenhouse gases were prevented from being released into the atmosphere (that’s the same amount that 250 trees could do in 10 years). 3,406 pounds of trash were also kept from entering landfills, which is roughly equal to the weight of 3 grizzly bear families. Then by opting to eat less meat and making wiser meat choices, students saved 300,334 gallons of water, equivalent to the weight of 8.5 blue whales!


Their reward? Besides the satisfaction that they are stewarding the Earth, each participating school received a fully-funded school trip to a local park. The winner of the contest took home the biggest reward! This year, Chester Community Charter (PA) placed third, Franklin Elementary (IN) took second, and Lake Tahoe Environmental Magnet School (CA) was the overall winner. Congratulations to all our students!






Let’s give a warm Buddy Bison welcome to one of our newest corporate partners, Lincoln Electric! They are now sponsoring park experiences for St. Ignatius Loyola Academy and Mt. Washington School. Both are under-served schools in Baltimore, MD. This month, they both enjoyed eye-opening adventures outdoors! We are so thankful for Lincoln Electric’s support of these future park stewards!

St. Ignatius Loyola Academy (MD) 5th graders at Patapsco Valley State Park (MD).

Spring has sprung at Patapsco Valley State Park (MD). This month 5th graders from St. Ignatius Loyola Academy (Baltimore, MD) explored the Hollifield area of Patapsco, and hiked along the Union Dam trail. While the dam no longer stands, students learned about the milling history of the Patapsco River and saw where the Union Dam once stood. They also examined the environmental impact of dams, and why the Park is removing many of the remaining dams to help improve the river’s health.

After the hike, students met a Park Ranger from the Maryland Dept. of Natural Resources for a “Scales and Tales” program. During the presentations, students met a barn owl, a crow, and a black vulture, and learned why all three animals are in the park’s care. Highlights of the program included hearing all the silly sounds the crow and make, and seeing the black vulture spread her wings wide open.

Mt. Washington School (MD) 8th graders in Harpers Ferry (WV).

Eighth graders from Mt. Washington School in Baltimore, MD journeyed almost an hour and a half to visit the park Thomas Jefferson described as “worth a voyage across the Atlantic” to see! Harpers Ferry National Historical Park includes the historic town of Harper’s Ferry and the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers. “Confluence” simply means a place where two rivers come together.

There, they discovered the historical events that took place  250 years ago by playing a competitive game of truth or fiction. For example, Holland’s team (pictured above, center right)  learned that the nation’s very first armory was built in Harper’s Ferry because of the town’s abundant natural resources – like water for both transport and power!

They also hiked to Jefferson Rock, through the historic cemetery, then to Storer College, one of the first colleges to accept students of all genders and races.

Buddy Bison Student Ambassador Audrey from North Carolina made the most of her spring break this year by visiting lots of parks! Join her adventures to see which national battlefield is home to the site where the Patriots won the first major battle of the American Revolution.

Kids to Parks Day Giveaways

National Park Trust is excited to announce our 2019 Kids to Parks Day Giveaways! This year our partners are providing excellent prizes to help you and your family get outside and engaged on Kids to Parks Day and everyday. If you plan to participate in Kids to Parks Day by getting outside you are eligible to win outdoor gear prize packs from partners like The North Face, Parks Project, Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, Eastern National, National Geographic Kids, and more!

Outdoor Gear Prizes from:







Pledge to participate in Kids to Parks Day and you could win an outdoor gear prize pack!

Pledge Now

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Contest Rules

How to Win

  • Register to Participate by filling out our easy form above
  • Tag Us and Use #KidstoParks on Instagram or send your photo to (Please note, if you have a private Instagram account you must email us your photo because we will not be able to see your tag)


Buddy Bison Giveaway

No park trip is complete without your very own Buddy Bison! Buddy is our loveable mascot that encourages kids of all ages to explore outdoors. Complete with a carabiner, he is ready for any kind of outdoor adventure. When you participate in the Kids to Parks Day giveaway and share your tagged photos on Instagram, you will be automatically entered to win a Buddy Bison if your photo is the best in one of the following categories:

Best 2019 Kids to Parks Day Photo
Best 2019 Kids to Parks Day Group Photo
Best 2019 Kids to Parks Day Stewardship Photo
Best 2019 Kids to Parks Day Boomerang
Best 2019 Kids to Parks Day Pet in a Park Photo


Contest Rules

ELIGIBILITY: Applicants must be registered to participate in Kids to Parks Day at by May 18, 2019 and tag or share their #KidstoParks photo with National Park Trust by Sunday, May 19, 2019 at 11:59pm PST. If the applicant does not tag or share their photo on Instagram they may also send it via email to: This contest is not sponsored, endorsed, administered by or associated with Instagram. The contest is open to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia. Void where prohibited by law. The contest is subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws.

HOW TO ENTER: Visit and follow the directions provided to complete the online registration form to receive one (1) entry. Limit of one (1) entry per person using only one (1) email address through out the contest period. Eligibility of individual entries will be at the sole discretion of National Park Trust, for any reason or for no reason, though specific reasons for disqualification may include use of inappropriate language or visuals. National Park Trust is not responsible for and will not consider incomplete or incorrect entries. Entries generated by script, macro, mechanical or other automated means and entries by any means which subvert the entry process are void. Multiple entries received from any person in excess of the stated limitation will be void. All entries become the sole property of the Sponsor and will not be returned.

RANDOM DRAWING: Winners for the outdoor gear prize packs will be selected in a random drawing held within 1 week of contest end date from among all eligible entries received and combined throughout the Contest Period. Odds of winning one of the prize packs depend on the number of eligible entries received throughout the Contest Period.

BUDDY BISON DRAWING: Winners for the Buddy Bison giveaways will be selected at the discretion of National Park Trust within 1 week of contest end date.

WINNER NOTIFICATION: Winners of all contests will be contacted at the “entry” email address used to enter the contest, and the person receiving and replying to the winner announcement email will be considered the winner unless they specify another person within the reply email as the winner. National Park Trust will mail the contest prize to the address supplied by the recipient of the winner announcement email. Claiming of prizes requires an email response to National Park Trust from the winning sender email address within 10 days of being notified of winning at the email address used to enter. Failure to respond shall mean that the winner forfeits the prize.

SUBMISSION OF PHOTO, TEXT OR OTHER CONTENT FOR contest: Entries selected for display and to win “best of” contests and any other contests requiring photo, text or other content from the entrants will be judged entirely at the discretion of National Park Trust.

By submitting any photo or information to National Park Trust, you hereby grant to National Park Trust and its affiliates, subsidiaries, licensees and assigns, an irrevocable, perpetual and royalty-free right to use, reproduce, edit, display, transmit, prepare derivative works of, modify, publish and otherwise make use of the submitted photo or other information in any and all media, whether now known or hereinafter created, throughout the world and for any purpose. In addition to other things, the rights granted to National Park Trust includes but is not limited to the right to resize, crop, censor, compress, edit, feature, caption, affix logos to, and to otherwise alter or make use of the submitted photo. By submitting any photo or information to National Park Trust, you hereby represent and warrant that the submitted photo or information does not and shall not infringe on any copyright, any rights of privacy or publicity of any person, or any other right of any third party, and you have the right to grant any and all rights and licenses granted to National Park Trust herein, including but not limited to all necessary rights under copyright, free and clear of any claims or encumbrances.

You acknowledge and agree that National Park Trust shall have no obligation to post, display or otherwise make publicly available any photo or information submitted by you, and may, in its sole and unfettered discretion, remove, edit, modify or delete any photo or information that you submit to National Park Trust.

You understand and intend that any photo or information submitted by you to National Park Trust may be available for viewing, rating, review and comment on by the public, and understand that comments or ratings with which you disagree or are unhappy about may be published or otherwise become associated with any photo or information you submit to National Park Trust. By submitting any photo or information to National Park Trust, you hereby waive any privacy expectations that you may have with respect to any such photo or information submitted by you to National Park Trust.

You hereby agree to hold National Park Trust and its affiliates, subsidiaries, licensees sponsors and assigns harmless from and against, and hereby waive any right to pursue, any claims of any nature arising in connection with the inclusion in, publication via or display on any National Park Trust site, or any other use authorized under these Terms, of any photo or information submitted to National Park Trust by you.

Photos or information submitted by you to the Site shall be the property of National Park Trust, and National Park Trust shall have no obligation to preserve, return or otherwise make available to you or others any photos or information so submitted.

INSTAGRAM: Promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram.

GENERAL CONDITIONS: By participating, each entrant agrees: (a) to abide by these Official Rules and decisions of Sponsor, which shall be final in all respects relating to this contest; (b) to release, discharge and hold harmless Sponsor, and their respective parents, affiliates, subsidiaries, and advertising and contest agencies, and the respective officers, directors, shareholders, employees, agents and representatives of the foregoing (collectively, “Released Parties”) from any and all injuries, liability, losses and damages of any kind to persons, including death, or property resulting, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from entrant’s participation in the contest or the acceptance, possession, use or misuse of any awarded prize (or portion thereof), including any/all travel/activity related thereto; and (c) to the use of his/her name, address (city and state), voice, performance, photograph, image and/or other likeness for programming, advertising, publicity, trade and promotional purposes in any and all media, now or hereafter known, worldwide and on the Internet, and in perpetuity by Sponsor and its designees, without compensation (unless prohibited by law) or additional consents from entrant or any third party and without prior notice, approval or inspection, and to execute specific consent to such use if asked to do so.

In the event of a dispute regarding entries received from multiple users having the same e-mail account, the authorized subscriber of the e-mail account at the time of entry will be deemed to be the entrant and must comply with these Official Rules. Authorized account subscriber is the natural person who is assigned the e-mail address by the Internet Service Provider (ISP), on-line service provider, or other organization responsible for assigning e-mail addresses. Released Parties not responsible for any technical problems, malfunctions of any telephone lines, computer systems, servers, providers, hardware/software, lost or unavailable network connections or failed, incomplete, garbled or delayed computer transmission or any combination thereof. Released Parties are not responsible for late, lost, damaged, misdirected, incomplete, undeliverable, destroyed, garbled, postage-due, illegible, inaccurate, delayed or stolen entries or mail; or for lost, interrupted or unavailable network, server, Internet Service Provider (ISP), website, or other connections, availability or accessibility or miscommunications or failed computer, satellite, telephone or cable transmissions, lines, or technical failure or jumbled, scrambled, delayed, or misdirected transmissions or computer hardware or software malfunctions, failures or difficulties, or other errors or difficulties of any kind whether typographical, human mechanical, electronic, computer, network, printing or otherwise relating to or in connection with the contest, including, without limitation, errors or difficulties which may occur in connection with the administration of the contest, the processing of entries or mail, the announcement of the prize or in any contest-related materials. Released Parties are also not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by site users, tampering, hacking, or by any equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the contest. Released Parties are not responsible for injury or damage to entrants’ or to any other person’s computer related to or resulting from participating in this contest or downloading materials from or use of the website. Sponsor may disqualify anyone from participating in the contest or winning the prize (and void all associated entries) if, in its sole discretion, it determines that such person is attempting to undermine the legitimate operation of the contest by cheating, deception or other unfair playing practices, or intending to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other entrant or Sponsor’s representatives. ANY ATTEMPT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE THE WEBSITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE contest MAY BE IN VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK ANY AND ALL REMEDIES AVAILABLE FROM ANY SUCH INDIVIDUAL TO THE FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW, INCLUDING CRIMINAL PROSECUTION. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to cancel, modify or suspend any portion of the contest for any reason, including should any cause corrupt the administration, security or proper play of the contest and, in the event of termination, to determine the potential winner in a random drawing from among all eligible non-suspect entries received and combined up to such time of impairment.

DISPUTE RESOLUTION: Except where prohibited by law, as a condition of participating in this contest, entrant agrees that (1) any and all disputes and causes of action arising out of or connected with this contest, or prize awarded, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, and exclusively by final and binding arbitration under the rules of the American Arbitration Association and held at the AAA regional office nearest the entrant; (2) the Federal Arbitration Act shall govern the interpretation, enforcement and all proceedings at such arbitration; and (3) judgment upon such arbitration award may be entered in any court having jurisdiction. Under no circumstances will entrant be permitted to obtain awards for, and entrant hereby waives all rights to claim, punitive, incidental or consequential damages, or any other damages, whether foreseeable or not and whether based on negligence or otherwise, including attorneys’ fees, other than entrant’s actual out-of-pocket expenses (i.e., costs associated with participating in this contest), and entrant further waives all rights to have damages multiplied or increased.

CHOICE OF LAW: All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, or the rights and obligations of entrant and Sponsor in connection with the contest, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the substantive laws of the State of Maryland, USA.