Our youth programs have been selected as a National Park Service Centennial Challenge Project. Every dollar that we raise up to $450,000 will be matched to help us get under-served kids to parks. Donate now!
In partnership with NIPSCO, NPT has acquired 30 acres of land surrounding the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Visitor Center. The land will be donated to NPS this September. Read More.
The Ivanpah Desert Tortoise Research Facility at Mojave National Preserve (a partnership between Chevron, NPS, and NPT) released 48 desert tortoise hatchlings into the wild as part of its “head-start" program earlier this year. (Photo courtesy of Jacob Daly.)
Happy Spring! I can't wait to shake off the snow and get outside. In fact, all national parks are free on April 19th-20th for National Parks Week. Don't forget to check out Kids to Parks Day on May 17; there will be hundreds of park events happening across the country. See the winners below of our Kids to Parks Day National School Contest!
“Explore outdoors, the parks are yours!”
The Winners Are...Kids to Parks Day National School Contest
I am really excited to announce this year's school contest winners. It was very difficult to make our decision because we received so many great contest entries. Thank you all for participating!
Congratulations to the 43 schools and 3,200 students that will be exploring parks this May for Kids to Parks Day in grades pre-K through 12. Yippee!
Students will visit national, state, county and local parks and U.S. Army Corps sites in 29 states. That is pretty cool!
We loved reading about your stewardship project ideas -- from planting apple trees to water testing to park clean-up projects. We can't wait to see your pictures from your Kids to Parks Day celebrations!
The photo above is from students at Alderwood Elementary School in Bellingham, WA; they made the local news!
A huge Buddy Bison thanks to our wonderful sponsors for their very generous resources for our school contest: Southern Company Charitable Foundation, Inc. and
Bringing the Outdoors Indoors
Alligators AND Pythons in the Everglades
Since it was so cold this month, I stopped by the Bullis School in Potomac, MD to visit my 2nd and 3rd grade adventurers. We listened to Mr. Dick Ring, Park Projects Director at the National Park Trust, tell some amazing stories about Everglades National Park. Mr. Ring was the superintendent, or headmaster as he put it, of the Everglades and told us about all the cool plants and animals, including snakes, panthers and alligators! However, he told us that some of the plants and animals do not belong there and have been hurting the habitat and native species.
“I learned that the Burmese Python was not supposed to be there. They were invaders. They were brought as pets into the Everglades.”
— Bullis 2nd Grader
Hurricanes, Tornadoes and Lightning, Oh My!
Then I visited my friends at Washington Jesuit Academy in NW, Washington D.C. and learned about weather systems and severe weather from meteorologist Ron Gird of the National Weather Service.
Did you know that the United States has the most severe weather in the world? From snow to lightning to hurricanes and tornadoes, our country experiences a lot of different weather. Most importantly, Mr. Gird talked about severe weather safety and what to do in dangerous situations.
“Weather is pretty cool, but dangerous too…where I live in SE Washington D.C. we don’t really get weather like that”
— WJA 5th grader
Happy 4th Anniversary First Lady Michelle Obama and the Let's Move Initiative!
Thanks for getting kids and families across the country to move their bodies, eat healthy and drink more water. Let's see how the First Lady has moved throughout the year!
And here she is with Will Ferrell leading a focus group about getting kids to eat healthy foods. Sorry Will, no "entire honey baked hams!"
Don't forget to save the date, May 17 is Kids to Parks Day. I want to see you moving a lot at your local park. Tell your parents to register your family online at kidstoparks.org and you could win a cool grand prize or have your parents check us out on Facebook starting April 1 for free park resources and other cool prizes including a North Face backpack and CamelBak hydration packs. What are you waiting for? This long winter will end soon and spring is around the corner -- it's time to get out and go!