Washington, D.C., November 12, 2019 – National Park Trust today announced a new exclusive partnership with Caribbean Sol to protect national parks, coral reefs, and other marine ecosystems.
Common ingredients used in thousands of sun care products meant to protect against harmful effects of ultraviolet light threaten corals and other marine life. Such ingredients have caused coral bleaching, algae blooms, and health problems in fish and dolphins, and may also be harmful to human health. These products are often sold in plastic packaging which continues to pollute our oceans.
To address this important environmental issue, National Park Trust and Caribbean Sol are launching a nationwide campaign to promote responsible sun safety for people who visit national parks, public lands and waters. The goals of the campaign are to:
Identify sun safety ingredients that are safe to use, and will not harm our parks, coral reefs, and public waterways.
Understand the plastics pollution issue facing our parks and how they can help address this issue; and
Plan outdoor experiences that are safe, enjoyable, and environmentally friendly
Healthy coral reefs are one of the most valuable ecosystems in the world. As one of the most biodiverse marine areas on the planet, reefs house hundreds and even thousands of species. They also provide billions of dollars in economic and environmental services, such as food, coastal protection, and tourism.
In addition, this partnership will make it possible for Park Trust to continue preserving waterways and introducing young people from under-served communities to the many benefits of outdoor recreation as they learn about the importance of protecting our precious natural resources.
“Caribbean Sol’s support for National Park Trust will not only help kids and families be prepared to enjoy the outdoors, but also will inspire us to be proactive in preserving and caring for our oceans, rivers, and lakes,” said Grace Lee, Executive Director, National Park Trust.
“We are honored to work with National Park Trust on this new partnership to protect our precious marine life and educate the public on how they can keep our natural environments safe for generations to come,” said Bruce Shanks, President, Caribbean Sol. “With research and feedback from tour operators about the harms of chemicals in sunscreen on marine life, we formulated a truly natural, chemical free sunscreen that protects families and helps preserve our national treasures.”
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 preserved over 30,000 acres in 31 states, 1 US Territory, and Washington, DC. This year, NPT engaged over 1 million people in their Annual Kids to Parks Day and will provide an estimated 25,000 under-served kids with park trips through their nationally recognized Buddy Bison School Program. Find out more at www.parktrust.org.
ABOUT CARIBBEAN SOL
Caribbean Sol is an all-natural sun & skincare brand created in Orlando, FL to provide a truly natural solution for sun protection. With ingredients made from earth, Caribbean Sol products are fully compatible with nature and do not cause any harm to the ecosystem. Caribbean Sol offers a solution to the chemical sunscreen epidemic that is damaging our marine environment. For more information, visit www.caribbean-sol.com.
New App Helps Users Discover Our Nation’s Parks, Earn Custom Badges for Outdoor Activities and Build Community While Exploring Public Land
Washington, D.C., October 30, 2019 – The National Park Trust (NPT) today announced the launch of its free ParkPassport mobile app in partnership with Blue Star Families (BSF) to provide families across America with easier access to park experiences. This collaboration between NPT and BSF ensures that military families not only enjoy parks and create lasting family memories – but it also helps this often overlooked and diverse community feel welcomed in the outdoors, ensuring a thriving future generation of outdoor enthusiasts.
Features of the ParkPassport App include:
Park Finder to discover nearby federal, state and local parks
Digital Passport to collect badges for different parks and outdoor activities, including custom badges for the 61 national parks
Photo Sharing to upload and share user park images
Invite Friends to join and share outdoor experiences
“We are delighted to work with Blue Star Families to connect many more military families with our parks that protect cherished landscapes and preserve the stories of our country,” said Grace Lee, executive director, National Park Trust. “The ParkPassport App is a digital guide that will also help engage families with the health and educational benefits of the great outdoors.”
The ParkPassport App provides families with easy access to track their park visits and search for their nearest park, while building a community of likeminded outdoor enthusiasts. This feature will be especially useful as military families move across the country during a permanent change of station (PCS). They can find parks and family-friendly activities along the way and also near their new homes.
A 2018 Military Family Lifestyle Survey revealed that isolation from their local community remains a top challenge for military families with 48% of respondents indicating that they did not feel a sense of belonging within their new local civilian community. Parks are often one of the only constants in a military family’s life since they can be found no matter where they live, thanks to the new ParkPassport App, and are a great way to contribute to the core emotional, psychological and physical well-being of military family members.
“Families are the core of our organization. Technology such as the ParkPassport App creates opportunities for families to get outdoors and get moving to create memories wherever they are stationed,” said Kathy Roth-Douquet, CEO, Blue Star Families. “We are excited to have the National Park Trust as a partner to further encourage families to connect.”
The first 20,000 service members (and their families) to download the app will receive a FREE Buddy Bison, NPT’s pint-sized woolly mascot. ParkPassport users can tag their new travel companion with #BuddyBison and share photos of Where’s Buddy Bison Been? as he comes along for new park adventures.
National Park Trust and Blue Star Families are thrilled to work with CSX and the National Park Service on this exciting initiative.
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 provided nearly 20,000 children 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 in under-served communities. Find out more at www.parktrust.org.
ABOUT BLUE STAR FAMILIES
Blue Star Families builds communities that support military families by connecting research and data to programs and solutions, including career development tools, local community events for families, and caregiver support. With Blue Star Families, military families can find answers to their challenges anywhere they are. For more information, visit bluestarfam.org.
Washington, DC (June 12, 2019)– At an evening reception at the Newseum, the National Park Trust (NPT) awarded Sen. Richard Burr (NC) with the 19th Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award. The award was presented by Sue Vento and NPT Board Chair Bill Brownell (top left) along with students Audrey Elliott, Morgan Marsh and Amari Sowah (left to right).
Senator Burr was recognized for his numerous accomplishments including his leadership in seeking permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund – a vision he shared with the award’s namesake, Congressman Bruce Vento. Furthermore, his sponsorship of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Reauthorization Act and ongoing efforts to protect the Corolla Wild Horses demonstrates his continued commitment to protecting some of America’s most valuable ecological and historical resources.
“It’s an honor to be recognized by The National Park Trust, and I want to thank them for their support. I strongly believe it’s our responsibility to preserve America’s natural landscapes and parks, so our children and grandchildren can enjoy them as much as we have. North Carolina has over 19 million visitors to its National Park Service Units each year, and organizations like The National Park Trust work diligently with their federal partners to help make those lands accessible. I will continue fighting for common-sense conservation efforts as long as I serve in the Senate.”
Photo by Ben Droz.
Senator Burr has been a strong proponent and active defender and protector of the core values of conservation in this country. As a member of the Senate Finance Committee and the Subcommittee on Energy, Natural Resources, and Infrastructure, Senator Burr has supported and advocated for the protection of our national parks, public lands and waters. He also serves on the Senate Aging Committee, Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, and chairs the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
Three students joined NPT to recognize the Senator: Audrey Elliott, 11 years old from Nebo, NC who is one of NPT’s four student ambassadors and Morgan Marsh and Amari Sowah. Amari and Morgan are 9 years old and attend Elsie Whitlow Stokes Public Charter School, one of 21 Buddy Bison Schools in the Washington, DC metro area.
Student Ambassador Elliott reiterated that, “North Carolina has over 19 million visitors to our National Park Service units each year. It is my mission to increase the awareness of our national parks and encourage other kids to protect these important places. Thank you, Senator Burr, for helping make this possible.”
“We were delighted to be able to honor Senator Richard Burr for his service in Washington, DC and at home in North Carolina to support bi-partisan legislation and programs that will not only preserve America’s national parks and public lands today but also ensure that they will be treasured forever,” stated NPT Board Chair Bill Brownell.
ABOUT THE VENTO AWARD
NPT established the Vento Award in 2001 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 their service, skill and innovation in support of our public lands. Past recipients include Senator Martin Heinrich (NM), Senator Lamar Alexander (TN), 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), Senator Bob Graham (FL), Congressman John Lewis (GA), Congresswoman Connie Morella (MD), Congressman John Seiberling (OH), Lt Governor Lowell Thomas (AK).
All proceeds from the annual event benefit NPT’s park preservation and youth education programs.
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 provided nearly 20,000 children 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 in under-served communities.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
Visitwww.kidstoparks.org for a complete list of park events by state and downloadabletips 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.