For Immediate Release: May 8, 2019
Contact: Nicole L’Esperance (Wyden) 202-224-3789
Kevin Smith (Portman) 202-224-3353
Christina Mandreucci (Alexander) 202-224-4944
Aaron Morales (Heinrich) 202-228-1578
Will Dempster (Hirono) 202-224-9813
Kristin Lynch (Booker) 202-224-8378
Senate Passes Bipartisan “Kids to Parks Day” Resolution
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., Mazie K. Hirono, D-Hawaii, and Cory Booker, D-N.J., applauded the passage of their bipartisan resolution, which encourages children to get outdoors by designating May 18, 2019 National Kids to Parks Day.
First celebrated by the National Park Trust in 2011, the ninth annual Kids to Parks Day marks the beginning of a summer-long series of events at state parks countrywide that promote outdoor recreation and active, healthy living. The Senate passed the resolution by unanimous consent yesterday.
“Love for outdoor recreation is in Oregon’s DNA,” Wyden said. “Oregonians pass on that appreciation of our natural resources and enjoyment of the outdoors from generation to generation. Kids to Parks Day is another important way to connect our young folks to the richness of the outdoors and enjoy all that Oregon and states across the country have to offer.”
“It is important that we encourage younger generations to enjoy and experience the outdoors, and as a frequent visitor to our national parks I’m pleased that thousands of kids in Ohio will be visiting and learning about these national treasures on Kids to Parks Day,” Portman said. “I am proud to support the Kids to Parks Day Resolution to encourage more young people and their families to visit our treasured national parks.”
“In the age of technology, our national parks are more important now than ever before. Growing up in Maryville, Tennessee, which is next to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, I was able to take advantage of our country’s natural beauty and learn history in a place where history comes alive. It is my hope that children across the country take the time to celebrate Kids to Parks Day on May 18 and create memories of their own,” Alexander said.
“Our national parks offer endless opportunities for kids to discover, learn, and play,” said Heinrich whose bipartisan legislation, the Every Kid Outdoors Act, was signed into law earlier this year. “Connecting kids to the outdoors, whether it is playing in the local park down the street or exploring Carlsbad Caverns National Park, can inspire the next generation of conservationists, while reaping all of the health benefits that go along with an active lifestyle. I encourage New Mexico families to take advantage of Kids to Parks Day and visit our treasured public lands.”
“With over 50 state and national parks in Hawaii, our resolution encourages keiki to get outdoors and stay active. Our parks offer an important opportunity for our next generation to explore and learn how natural resources contribute to Hawaii’s rich cultural heritage,” Hirono said. “By designating May 18 as National Kids to Parks Day, we can help instill in our keiki the importance of healthy outdoor recreation and environmental stewardship for years to come.”
“In New Jersey, and all across the country, our parks are a national treasure that allow Americans to immerse themselves in our natural environment and the great outdoors,” Booker said. “Kids to Parks Day encourages kids and families to enjoy our state and national parks, while helping instill a love and appreciation for the great outdoors among the next generation.”
More than 1 million people participated in last year’s Kids to Parks Day, according to the National Park Trust.
This year’s Kids to Parks Day will be celebrated Saturday, May 18, 2019. To find a list of events near you, click here.
Rockville, MD (February 21, 2019) – National Park Trust (NPT) is pleased to announce that it has received renewed funding from the First Solar Corporate Charitable Fund of the Toledo Community Foundation in support of the Kids to Parks Day National School Contest. The First Solar Corporate Charitable Fund has had a long term partnership with NPT dating back to 2012.
With the $25,000 gift from First Solar, National Park Trust will be able to support 25 Title I schools through their Kids to Parks Day National School Contest. For many of these students, this will be their first park experience. The Kids to Parks Day Contest is a national program providing up to $1,000 per school to cover transportation costs, program and stewardship project fees School bus funding is the biggest barrier to the outdoors for students in Title I schools. This year’s contest closed on February 14th and is open each year to Pre K through 12th graders that attend Title I schools, the federal indicator of low-income schools.
Each year, using their grants, the students discover a local park where they enjoy outdoor recreation, use the park as an outdoor science or history classroom, and learn about their role as park stewards by participating in service projects.
“We are pleased to continue our support for the Kids to Parks Day School Contest,” said Keith Burwell, President of Toledo Community Foundation. “This program directly responds to the first tenet of First Solar’s corporate giving values, to support “green” education initiatives.”
“On behalf of the thousands of students from Title I schools that benefit from our multi-year partnership, we are very grateful for this renewed generous gift from the First Solar Corporate Charitable Fund of the Toledo Community Foundation. Each year, these students look forward to discovering and exploring new parks in celebration of Kids to Parks Day,” stated Grace Lee, Executive Director, National Park Trust.
ABOUT NATIONAL PARK TRUST National Park Trust (NPT) is a non-profit dedicated to preserving parks today and creating park stewards for tomorrow. NPT is the only land trust with a comprehensive mission of protecting national parks through land acquisition and creating a pipeline of future park stewards by getting kids to parks. Since 1983, NPT has completed 70 land projects in 31 states, 1 US Territory, and Washington, DC. This school year, NPT will provide an estimated 25,000 under-served kids with park trips through their nationally recognized Buddy Bison School Program and Kids to Parks Day National School Contest, both of which support Title I schools. Find out more at www.parktrust.org ABOUT TOLEDO
COMMUNITY FOUNDATION Toledo Community Foundation, Inc. is a public charitable organization created by citizens of our community to enrich the quality of life for individuals and families in our area. In existence since 1973, the Foundation has more than 800 funds with assets of approximately $287 million. The Foundation provides philanthropic services for individuals, families, businesses, and corporations to meet their charitable giving needs. For more information on the Foundation, visit the organization’s website at www.toledocf.org or follow them on Facebook.
In late November, National Park Trust (NPT) received an early Christmas present: this amazing book (pictured below) from Krista Gordon in Bellingham, WA! It celebrates our partnership with her over the last few years.
Who is Krista Gordon you ask? In 2014, she was working as a substitute teacher at Alderwood Elementary when she first encouraged her students to apply to NPT’s Kids to Parks (KTP) Day School Contest. They won the grant and over 40 fourth graders found inspiration in the ocean and whales at Lime Kiln Point State Park, just like Krista had! The next year, Krista secured funding for nine more under-served schools to visit the park. Her efforts won her the “The Buddy Award” for Outstanding Environmental Stewardship from NPT.
Krista went on to found the Salish Sea Experience, a non-profit focused on “bringing learning to life to inspire tomorrow’s environmental stewards.” In the 5 years since that first field trip, we’ve helped support 9 trips there for 3 schools through the KTP Day National School Contest, involving over 420 students! Learn more about this incredible program by watching this video.
Thank you note from a Cordata student.
“The same elements that impact the sea’s health, impact ours. Students are empowered by learning how simple things, like recycling and picking up trash, protect marine life,” says Krista. “I wish you could see their eyes pop and their squeals of delight with each new vista they saw, each new discovery they made, or each new fact they learned. The whales are not something that can be controlled on this field trip. It is a matter of being in the right place at the right time. When students are in the right place, it is an experience they will never forget. It inspires them to become stewards. It is reason for hope that we can learn to take care of this amazing planet.”
“My son and I loved it!” said parent chaperone Antoinette. “The most valuable part was showing my son that there is more to the world than just where we live — not just telling him. I could not have done this on my own as a single mother without a car. This trip was everything I could have asked for.”
We hope that you find Krista Gordon’s story as inspiring as we did!
If you’re interested in funding a dream park trip of your own, you too can apply for a scholarship! You can win up to $1,000 through the Kids to Parks Day National School Contest. Kindergarten through 12th grade students at all Title I Schools across the country are eligible to apply!
The deadline for entries is Thursday, February 14, 2019 — that’s in just two months! Winners will be announced on NPT’s website Thursday, March 7, 2019.
Click here to learn more about the contest, download the entry form, and watch our school video from last year! Questions? Contact Katie Zimmerman, (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call 301-279-7275. If you would like to help sponsor this program, contact Rebecca Hansell, email@example.com.
“Kids to Parks Day: Find your local park on May 19”
Published in USA Today on May 15, 2018
By Susan B. Barnes
“You just kind of get to relax in a way and you don’t really have to worry about anything in the world. Now, I’m a kid so I normally don’t have to worry about that stuff. But for everyone else, it’s a way to get out and not worry about anything, and wonder, ‘how did nature do that?’”
That’s what 12-year-old Buddy Bison Student Ambassador Sarah Hullihen from Vineland, N.J., had to say when asked why kids and their families should be a part of Kids to Parks Day on Saturday, May 19.
Kids to Parks Day is a national initiative that began in 2011 and is organized by National Park Trust “to connect kids and families with their local, state, and national parks and public lands.”
“[We] realize the importance of getting children of all ages outside, not only for the health and wellness of our children, but also of our parks and public lands,” explained National Park Trust Executive Director Grace Lee. “Sometimes, the best ideas are simple ideas.”
In its first year, National Park Trust “was delighted” that about 18,000 people participated in Kids to Parks Day; this year, it’s estimated that more than 1 million people throughout the USA will take part.
“It’s a national invitation for everyone to come out and enjoy a local park, and keep enjoying and exploring,” said Lee of Kids to Parks Day, the tagline for which is Kids Need Parks and Parks Need Kids.
“More studies are showing just how important is it have that unstructured time outside,” said Kupper. “The sooner we can introduce young people to the outdoors, the better.”
Kupper adds that more than 400 National Parks are found throughout the USA., and that many have special events scheduled for Kids to Parks Days. And for those that don’t, their regularly-scheduled programs and Junior Ranger programs are hands-on and kid-friendly, so make a good fit for the day, too.
“National Parks are closer than people think; there’s at least one National Park in every state,” explains Kupper. “It doesn’t have to be a week-long trip – you can spend an hour, an afternoon, or a long weekend and have quality experiences.” (Find Your Park will help you locate the nearest one.)
An integral part of Kids to Parks Day is the Buddy Bison Student Ambassador program, created in 2015 “to promote the vision and mission of National Park Trust.” (Now) 13-year-old Tigran Nahabedian of Ojai, Calif., became the first Buddy Bison Student Ambassador in 2015, and in addition to Sarah (2016), is joined by 10-year-old Audrey Elliott of Nebo, N.C., (2017) and 11-year-old Bryan Wilson (2018) of Navajo Nation, Ariz. The ambassadors “embody the mission of NPT by promoting the importance of preserving our national parks and public lands, and engaging children of all ages with these iconic and special places.”
“Our role is to get kids and adults connected to the outdoors,” said Tigran of his work as a Buddy Bison Student Ambassador. “This is important because kids will be taking over our National Parks, and everything else. We want to get kids involved to take care of our parks so they’ll be around for their kids.
“We all have a connection to our National Parks,” added Tigran. “They are the crown jewels of our country, and without them our country would not be as great as it is right now. I’m really glad to be a part of it [Buddy Bison Student Ambassador program] – it allows me to connect to kids and learn about the National Parks.”
To date, more than 500 Kids to Parks Day events have been planned in local, regional, state and National Parks throughout the USA. for 2018, with more being added daily (find events near you). In addition, 385 mayors in towns and cities have proclaimed the third Saturday in May as Kids to Parks Day.
Buddy Bison Student Ambassador Tigran will spend Kids to Parks Day volunteering with the Science Explorers Club at Cabrillo National Monument in San Diego, which includes talking about the area’s wildlife and history. In Vineland, N.J., Buddy Bison Student Ambassador Sarah is organizing a Kids to Parks Day on May 20 that will include arts, science, a clean-up, raffles and more.
“Children need the outdoors – they need to breathe in nature and they need fresh air,” encourages Sarah. “They need to really realize that nature is an actual thing and not just on the TV, phone, iPad, or whatever.
“It’s out there – go explore it.”
Read the original article here.