NATIONAL PARK TRUST AND NATIONAL PARK SERVICE ANNOUNCE 2020 CHALLENGE COST SHARE AWARDS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 15, 2020

NATIONAL PARK TRUST AND NATIONAL PARK SERVICE ANNOUNCE 2020 CHALLENGE COST SHARE AWARDS

More than $360,000 awarded to 19 projects that promote access to outdoor recreation, stewardship, and connecting people to the outdoors.

Washington, D.C. (September 15, 2020) – Today, National Park Trust in partnership with the National Park Service (NPS), announced 19 education and outdoor recreation projects that are funded by the NPS Challenge Cost Share Program and matched by community and nonprofit partners. Each project works to connect local communities to their national parks, national trails, and wild and scenic rivers. Projects include engaging people in active healthy outdoor recreation or in education initiatives that increase knowledge about our nation’s natural and cultural heritage.

“National Park Trust is thrilled to partner with the National Park Service and many local partners across the country to connect all people to national parks and engage a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts and stewards,” said Grace Lee, executive director of National Park Trust. “The Challenge Cost Share program is one of the most effective initiatives that leverage public and private funds and invests in local partnerships that deliver results.”

“Working with the National Park Trust has allowed the National Park Service to better preserve our parks while creating park stewards for tomorrow. Local partner organizations across the country are contributing their skills, talents, and resources to conservation and outdoor recreation projects that provide increased public access while protecting our national parks,” said Stephan Nofield, National Program Manager, National Park Service.

A sample of the 2020 projects includes:

  • Installation of educational gardens at Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument;
  • Training urban and rural youth in trail construction at Rocky Mountain National Park;
  • Providing place-based education and workforce development opportunities for local youth at Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument.

At First State Historical Park in Delaware, nearly 100 program participants will explore local waterways by canoe and take part in watershed stewardship, learning valuable Watershed STEM lessons meant to spark interest in watershed ecology and illustrate the importance of local waterways past and present.

In Boston, Massachusetts, high school students are participating in a Green Ambassador program where they will work with NPS staff from Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park

to develop knowledge and skills in environmental science, resource stewardship, and park management. At Indiana Dunes National Park in Indiana, military and veteran families will have outdoor adventures while they enjoy the health benefits of spending time in nature. Families in Southern Florida will be introduced to fishing, snorkeling, and paddling experiences in Biscayne and Everglades National Parks.

Partnerships make these projects possible. The National Park Service is providing $386,000 in direct financial support. Community and non-profit organizations that partner with local National Park Service sites have pledged more than $750,000 in direct and in-kind support to individual projects across the country. National Park Trust is administering the program and leveraging additional financial resources to deepen the program’s impact and reach.

ABOUT NATIONAL PARK TRUST

National Park Trust is a non-profit dedicated to preserving parks today and creating park stewards for tomorrow. The Park Trust is the only land trust with a comprehensive mission of preserving national parks through land protection and creating a pipeline of future park stewards by connecting kids to parks. Since 1983, National Park Trust has benefitted 48 national park sites across 28 states, one U.S. Territory, and Washington, D.C. Annually, the Park Trust provides 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 nearly 300 Title I schools. Find out more at www.parktrust.org.

ABOUT NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 419 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov, on Facebook www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice, Twitter www.twitter.com/natlparkservice, and YouTube www.youtube.com/nationalparkservice.

Media Contact: Ivan Levin at 540.818.5818 or ivan@parktrust.org.

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NATIONAL PARK TRUST HELPS PROTECT POPULAR SCENIC VIEW ON THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL IN VIRGINIA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 4, 2020

NATIONAL PARK TRUST HELPS PROTECT POPULAR SCENIC VIEW ON THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL IN VIRGINIA

Washington, D.C. (August 4, 2020) – On July 23, 2020, the National Park Trust transferred ownership of 239 acres of land in one of the most popular areas of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail (A.T.) near Troutville, Virginia to the National Park Service. In the fall of 2018, the Park Trust volunteered to support the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) in the acquisition of the property in Hogan Hollow, Virginia. The landowner wanted to sell before the National Park Service could accept the acreage, so in June 2019, the Park Trust worked with The Conservation Fund to acquire and temporarily hold the property until it could become part of the A.T.

The ATC was awarded a grant from the Virginia Outdoors Foundation to make the purchase and The Conservation Fund managed the transfer of the property from the landowners.

“The Appalachian Trail Conservancy gives its sincere thanks to the National Park Trust for making the preservation of Hogan Hollow a reality,” said Sandra Marra, President and CEO of the ATC. “This acquisition will help preserve the views from McAfee Knob, one of the most beloved locations on the entire Appalachian Trail, and ensures that the area’s natural beauty and ecologically important lands are preserved for the enjoyment and benefit of future generations.”

Wendy Janssen, superintendent of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, said about the acquisition, “This acquisition highlights the power of partnership in preserving and protecting the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. The National Park Service thanks all those involved for their commitment and support to secure the Hogan Hollow property and this critical viewshed for the enjoyment and benefit of all.”

Thousands of hikers each year see Hogan Hollow from McAfee Knob. The 3,197-foot overlook is thought to be one of the most scenic views on the A.T. It’s been said that more pictures are taken there than any other place on the trail. This view could dramatically change if the property was developed or the trees cut, which happened on neighboring land. This project also protects a section of the trail which runs through the property.

National Park Trust’s Executive Director Grace Lee stated, “We are delighted to provide our assistance and expertise to benefit the preservation of our national park sites, and are pleased to be able to assist the Appalachian National Scenic Trail in preserving this land for park visitors to enjoy in perpetuity.”

Hogan Hollow is the Park Trust’s third completed project to acquire land for the A.T. In conjunction with conservation partners, 219 acres near Pawling, NY were added in 2018 and 1,494 acres at Bald Mountain Pond, ME in 2019.

ABOUT NATIONAL PARK TRUST

National Park Trust is a non-profit dedicated to preserving parks today and creating park stewards for tomorrow. The Park Trust is the only land trust with a comprehensive mission of preserving national parks through land protection and creating a pipeline of future park stewards by connecting kids to parks. Since 1983, National Park Trust has benefitted 48 national park sites across 28 states, one U.S. Territory, and Washington, D.C. Annually, the Park Trust provides 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 nearly 300 Title I schools. Find out more at www.parktrust.org.

 

Media Contact: Ivan Levin at 540.818.5818 or ivan@parktrust.org.

NATIONAL PARK TRUST LAUNCHES BUDDY BISON CREATIVE LEARNING PROGRAM TO BRING PARKS TO TITLE I SCHOOL STUDENTS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 28, 2020

NATIONAL PARK TRUST LAUNCHES BUDDY BISON CREATIVE LEARNING PROGRAM TO BRING PARKS TO TITLE I SCHOOL STUDENTS

New National Distance Learning Program Made Possible with Generous Support from the Wyss Foundation and the National Park Service

Washington, D.C. (July 28, 2020) With so much still unknown about what education will look like for the 2020/2021 school year, National Park Trust announces the launch of a robust distance-learning initiative based on its renowned Buddy Bison School Program which for more than a decade has provided fully funded park experiences for kids in under-served communities including kids of color. This new education package –THE BUDDY BISON CREATIVE LEARNING PROGRAM — is being launched nationwide in Title I schools this fall.

With generous early lead support of $200,000 from the Wyss Foundation, the Park Trust will bring parks to kids with a program that aligns with classroom curricula, is adaptable to different educational situations (whether the students are in school or remote learning at home), and has hands-on learning components to supplement digital materials. The foundation’s gift will also be matched by National Park Service Centennial Challenge funds.

COVID-19 has created unprecedented challenges that impact students and families especially those in under-served communities. With 80% of Buddy Bison Program students qualifying for free or reduced-price lunch, the federal indicator of low income, these students often do not have the resources at home to support online education or the complementary hands-on activities available to them that can offset hours of sedentary screen time each day. Working closely with teachers who are looking to provide fun, engaging educational activities that support their classroom curricula, the Buddy Bison Creative Learning Program will provide innovative programming that keeps students engaged with our parks and outdoor education while maintaining physical distancing and meeting new school safety policies

The program and materials will emphasize the Buddy Bison Program’s three pillars:

  • Education: using parks as outdoor classrooms through hands-on activities and virtual visits including visits from rangers or special guests.
  • Health and Wellness: encouraging kids to get moving outside safely near their home or at parks for their mental and physical wellbeing.
  • Stewardship: teaching kids about their role as park stewards and caretakers of our environment.

To align with these pillars, the Buddy Bison Creative Learning Program will include 10 units on subject areas including fossils, watersheds, animal adaptations, plants, geomorphology, stars/space, and even park art. Acknowledging the importance of national parks as places where the stories of our country are preserved and retold, a unit on important figures in history will also be featured.

“After the pandemic hit and schools were abruptly closed, we listened to the needs and challenges of the hundreds of teachers that we support across the country. The National Park Trust is committed to supporting our students during this crisis and will continue our work to break down barriers that prevent under-served communities from accessing and engaging with the benefits of the great outdoors,” said Grace Lee, executive director, National Park Trust. “The new Buddy Bison Creative Learning Program will help to bring those fun and memorable park experiences to students no matter where they are learning this school year.”

ABOUT NATIONAL PARK TRUST

National Park Trust is a non-profit dedicated to preserving parks today and creating park stewards for tomorrow. The Park Trust is the only land trust with a comprehensive mission of preserving national parks through land protection and creating a pipeline of future park stewards by connecting kids to parks. Since 1983, National Park Trust has benefitted 48 national park sites across 28 states, one U.S. Territory, and Washington, D.C. Annually, the Park Trust provides 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 nearly 300 Title I schools. Find out more at www.parktrust.org.

Media Contact: Ivan Levin at 540.818.5818 or ivan@parktrust.org.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHER RECEIVES NATIONAL AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 9, 2020

Media Contact: Olwen Pongrace at 202.253.3190 or olwen@parktrust.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHER RECEIVES NATIONAL AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP

Washington, D.C. (July 9, 2020)National Park Trust is pleased to announce that Heimy Salgado, a reading specialist at Ida B. Wells Middle School in Washington, D.C., is the recipient of National Park Trust’s 2020 National Educator Award for Outstanding Environmental Stewardship. The annual award recognizes an educator who has made a significant impact on his or her students’ understanding of the natural world and the importance of protecting our nation’s treasured parks.

Thanks to support from the Wyss Foundation, the newly established Ida B. Wells Middle School was able to participate in the Park Trust’s national Buddy Bison School Program during its inaugural school year. However, Heimy Salgado has served as a Buddy Bison School Program teacher at three different schools in the Washington, D.C. area since the inception of the program in 2009. Whenever she was recruited by another D.C. school, she asked if the Park Trust could add that school to the Buddy Bison School Program.  Over the course of her 11-year involvement in the program, Salgado has developed and implemented in-depth advanced reading and science programs and has worked with National Park Trust to help shape and build a more robust and effective program. As a result, Salgado was also chosen as National Park Trust’s first Youth Programs Fellow and served as an advisor to the Park Trust board during the 2017 to 2020 school years.

Over the years, she has introduced hundreds of students from Title I schools to numerous educational park experiences from rock climbing at Carderock Recreation Area (MD) to freshwater snorkeling in George Washington and Jefferson National Forest (WV) to canoeing on the Anacostia River (D.C.). During each adventure, Heimy involved her students and families with conservation, teamwork, and countless classroom lessons broadened by the parks and the outdoors.

Heimy’s class snorkeling in George Washington National Forest.

“We are delighted to recognize Heimy Salgado with our 2020 National Educator Award for Outstanding Environmental Stewardship,” said Grace Lee, executive director, National Park Trust. “For more than a decade, Heimy has been an extraordinary champion of outdoor education and an incredible steward of our parks.  She serves as a wonderful role model for teachers, students, and families. We look forward to working with her and her students for many years to come.”

“I feel so honored to receive this incredible recognition, especially when I think of all the great educators who have received this award before me. Thanks to the National Park Trust, my students have been able to participate in immensely important experiences. These experiences have stuck with them and have helped spark a love for National Parks. In the not too distant future, many of my students will draw inspiration from their experiences as a Buddy Bison student and will do great things to preserve parks and to help children across our nation have access to parks,” shared Heimy Salgado.

ABOUT NATIONAL PARK TRUST

National Park Trust is a non-profit dedicated to preserving parks today and creating park stewards for tomorrow. The Park Trust is the only land trust with a comprehensive mission of preserving national parks through land protection and creating a pipeline of future park stewards by connecting kids to parks. Since 1983, National Park Trust has benefitted 48 national park sites across 28 states, one U.S. Territory, and Washington, D.C. Annually, the Park Trust provides 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.

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NATIONAL PARK TRUST BRINGS SUMMER CAMP TO KIDS AT HOME WITH WEEKLY NATIONAL PARK-THEMED GRAB AND GO ACTIVITIES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 2, 2020

Media Contact: Olwen Pongrace at 202.253.3190 or olwen@parktrust.org

NATIONAL PARK TRUST BRINGS SUMMER CAMP TO KIDS AT HOME WITH WEEKLY NATIONAL PARK-THEMED GRAB AND GO ACTIVITIES

“Camp Buddy Bison” to Feature Weekly Activities Focused on Getting to Know National Parks, Carbon Footprint Reduction, Virtual Park Tours, Art, Science, and More

Washington, D.C. (July 2, 2020) – While summertime usually means it’s time to head off to camp, we know many kids and families will be at home this summer season due to social distancing measures. That’s why the National Park Trust and their mascot, Buddy Bison are bringing camp to kids with their new Camp Buddy Bison, which features weekly national park-themed activities. This four-week program, which begins July 6th, will be delivered via email and provides participants (most appropriate for upper-elementary aged children) with five weekly free activities that can be completed at home and facilitated by a parent or caregiver.

Each week will include activities centered around carbon footprint reduction, virtual park visits, park-themed activities, science lessons, and crafts. The national parks featured in Camp Buddy Bison include:

  • Week I – Big Cypress National Preserve
  • Week II – Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • Week III – Yellowstone National Park
  • Week IV – Grand Canyon National Park

To complete the camp experience, participants can opt to purchase a Buddy Bison t-shirt to wear during camp and National Park Trust will donate a t-shirt to a deserving student in the Buddy Bison School Program.

“During this unique summer camp season where physical distancing is recommended, we want to give kids and families the opportunity to stay engaged with our nation’s parks,” said Grace Lee, Executive Director, National Park Trust. “Our parks are wonderful classrooms and we are thrilled to bring them home to families by providing fun virtual and hands-on activities.”

To learn more about Camp Buddy Bison, please sign up for National Park Trust’s newsletter.

ABOUT NATIONAL PARK TRUST

National Park Trust is a non-profit dedicated to preserving parks today and creating park stewards for tomorrow. The Park Trust is the only land trust with a comprehensive mission of preserving national parks through land protection and creating a pipeline of future park stewards by connecting kids to parks. Since 1983, National Park Trust has benefitted 48 national park sites across 28 states, one U.S. Territory, and Washington, D.C. Annually, the Park Trust provides 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.

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