The National Park Service (NPS) often needs a trusted partner to take ownership of and “hold” onto land before it can be transferred to NPS. This is one of many ways that National Park Trust (NPT) works to help our national parks! Recently, NPT was asked by a partner of the Appalachian Trail National Scenic Trail, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, to take ownership of 239 acres of land called Hogan’s Hollow while NPS completes all the work that goes into accepting Federal ownership of the property.
Thousands of hikers each year look out over Hogan’s Hollow from McAfee Knob. The 3,197-foot knob is considered one of the most scenic views and one of the most photographed places on the Appalachian Trail. This view could have been dramatically changed if the property had been developed or the timber cut, which had happened to neighboring lands. This project will also protect a section of the trail which runs through the property.
NPT Executive Director Grace Lee said, “We were excited to have been asked by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy to join the team with them and The Conservation Fund to preserve this land for future generations.”
The ATC was awarded a grant from the Virginia Outdoor Foundation to make the purchase; the money was part of a legal settlement between Virginia and a company wishing to build a pipeline nearby to make up for the environmental cost of construction.
Have an eco-friendly Independence Day
Check-out our guide to greening your July Fourth festivities
The Fourth marks the perfect time for barbecues, outdoor fun, and fireworks. Unfortunately, Independence Day traditions can also be destructive to our environment. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy all that summer’s biggest celebration has to offer. With a few changes, your July 4th can be festive and eco-friendly!
Your national parks, local parks, and backyard offer the perfect lighting, temperature, and a green setting for your celebration. The larger a group you gather outside, the less energy you use at individual indoor parties.
- Make sure to practice Leave No Trace principles like avoiding closed areas that protect wildlife and marine habitat. Pack out and appropriately dispose of all garbage.
- Consider hosting your barbecue at midday when the light is bright and fills your guests with energy. Or fight the heat by hosting your get together during cooler evening weather.
There are many ways to make this Fourth of July staple easy on our planet.
- Serve locally grown, pesticide-free fruits and veggies, and choose sustainably raised meat for your grill.
- Charcoal, while delicious, creates air pollution and poses serious health risks. Consider using propane or electric grills – many retailers will let your trade in your empty propane tank for a discount on your next purchase.
- Respect any burn bans. If no ban is in place, fires must be at least 100 feet from vegetation and other critical resources.
- Plastic water bottles may be an easy option, but they create waste and may be bad for your health. Store water and other drinks for guests in large containers so they can refill their reusable cups or bottles.
- Use recyclable or reusable tableware to prevent items from going into the landfill. Reuse your patriotic decorations next year, or skip buying decor, and use local flowers for your table.
Skip the Fireworks and Light it Up
Fireworks are an Independence Day tradition along with the fires and fear that they cause for pets and humans. You don’t need the bang of fireworks to have a blast this Fourth.
- Many cities now host laser shows, and those lights can be used time and time again whereas fireworks can only be used once.
- Glow-in-the-dark LED toys can be just as beautiful as fireworks and they keep you away from all the chemicals caused by an explosion.
- If you have a fire pit and it is safe, a nice campfire can provide even better ambiance than fireworks
- If fireworks are a must, gather at your local fireworks display. It’s a great way to see a much larger show and prevents you from harming the environment with your own personal display.
We hope you celebrate this July Fourth thoughtfully and sustainably!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: William Schrack, William@parktrust.org, 301-279-7275 x20
From L to R: Lesette Nikki Jackson, Caesars HERO Community Relations; Buddy Bison, NPT Mascot; Yolanda Smith; and Grace Lee, NPT Executive Director.
Washington, DC (June 18, 2019) – National Park Trust (NPT) is pleased to announce that Yolanda Smith, a fifth-grade teacher from Richmond Avenue School in Atlantic City, NJ, is the recipient of National Park Trust’s 2019 National Educator Award for Outstanding Environmental Stewardship.
Thanks to sponsorship from the Caesars Foundation as well as local property support, Richmond Avenue has been able to participate in NPT’s national Buddy Bison School Program since 2013. Yolanda has served as the lead teacher for the multi-year partnership. Over the course of her involvement in the program, Yolanda has developed and implemented an in-depth advanced science program and created a customized curriculum that uses parks as outdoor classrooms. Yolanda also developed her own learning objectives for each park field trip to ensure that all of her students walked away with knowledge gained from their hands-on experiences.
In 2014, Yolanda’s classroom participated in the first ever Buddy Bison Carbon Reduction Contest which aims to teach elementary school children how to identify, measure, and reduce their impact on the environment. Each year, students from different schools take nine different action items included in NPT’s contest toolkit to reduce their carbon footprint. Yolanda’s class won the 2017 Carbon Reduction Contest; they prevented 956 lbs of carbon dioxide from being emitted into the air.
Yolanda Smith accepting her award from Grace Lee, Executive Director of National Park Trust.
Furthermore, Yolanda’s classroom initiatives not only taught her students the tangible impact of their carbon footprint but also led the way to energy-saving improvements school-wide, reducing their energy bill by $100,000. This remarkable development was noticed by the school district, resulting in changes that led to an $800,000 energy cost savings for their entire school district.
Yolanda Smith showing her award to one of her students.
Through the Buddy Bison program and its Carbon Reduction Contest, all of her students have learned how to reduce their carbon footprint and educate others. “We may be molding the next Neil deGrasse Tyson or Albert Einstein,” noted Yolanda as she talked about the impact she has seen on her students. “The possibilities are endless with the knowledge and exposure they have gained. We have taken part in training the next generation of young minds, ready to excel as environmental stewards leading us into the next millennium.”
“We were delighted to honor and recognize Yolanda Smith from Richmond Avenue School with our 2019 National Educator Award. Over the years she has gone above and beyond to connect her Buddy Bison students with the numerous benefits of the great outdoors. These students will be the future stewards of our parks,” stated NPT Executive Director Grace Lee.
“Participating in this program is truly a highlight for our HERO volunteers,” said Lesette Nikki Jackson. “The opportunity to create a new memorable experience for children is its own reward. Yolanda has made environmental education a priority for the students and staff of Richmond Avenue School, creating a positive ripple effect in the community. She has literally opened doors for city kids to go outside and experience all that nature has to offer. Watching the transformation when the students realize playing is an engaging experience and not just an app on a screen is an inspiration. We are excited to see what the future holds for these students and this great program.
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 20,000 under-served kids with park trips through their nationally recognized Buddy Bison Programs and Kids to Parks Day National School Contest, both of which support Title I schools.
Find out more at www.parktrust.org.
ABOUT CAESARS FOUNDATION
Caesars Foundation is a private foundation funded by a portion of operating income from resorts owned or operated by Caesars Entertainment. The Foundation is the entity through which Caesars Entertainment funds programs and projects of $10,000 or more, as well as not for-profit giving requirements imposed by certain operating jurisdictions. The Foundation’s objective is to strengthen organizations and programs in the communities where our employees and their families live and work.
To learn more, visit www.caesarsfoundation.com.
NPT Partners With NPS, Cities, Towns, And States Around The Country To Promote National Day Of Outdoor Play And Park Appreciation; 1,400+ Park Events Planned; 1.1 Million + To Participate
See original posting on PRNewswire
WASHINGTON, May 9, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — In celebration of Kids to Parks Day, held annually the third Saturday in May, millions of Americans will join National Park Trust (NPT) and its many partners on May 18th to honor America’s parks and public lands by attending over 1,400 free park events in all 50 states and Washington, DC.
The United States Senate passed a resolution of support declaring May 18, 2019 Kids to Parks Day.
“National Park Trust hopes families across America will commemorate Kids to Parks Day by planning a fun family outing, attending a park event, or joining a collective celebration in what has become a national day of outdoor play and park appreciation,” said Grace Lee, executive director of NPT.
Mayors from more than 430 cities and towns –including Montgomery (AL), Tucson (AZ), Sacramento (CA), Denver (CO), Washington (DC), Honolulu (HI), Detroit (MI), Kansas City (MO), Las Vegas (NV), Newark (NJ), Albuquerque (NM), and Austin (TX) have signed resolutions of support.
Visit www.kidstoparks.org for a complete list of park events by state and downloadable tips and activity guides to help children, families, and teachers plan park adventures. Those who pledge to participate and share their adventures with the hashtag #KidstoParks on May 18th will also have a chance to win a camping package from The North Face as well as other outdoor gear gifts from partners including National Geographic Kids, Eastern National and Parks Project.
Kids to Parks Day is the signature event of NPT’s popular Buddy Bison® School Program which teaches environmental education. Through its woolly mascot Buddy Bison, NPT encourages children to “Explore outdoors, the parks are yours!” 77 elementary and middle Title I schools, in 17 states and Washington, DC participate in the Buddy Bison School Program, which provides classroom resources and fully funded park trips that enhance and expand school curricula.
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, the US Virgin Islands, 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 Programs and Kids to Parks Day National School Contest, both of which support Title I schools.
Find out more at www.parktrust.org.