Buddy Bison's Buzz - November 2011

Get a Buddy Bison
Buddy with a friend at the Gateway Arch in St. Louis
Chester student and Buddy at Valley Forge
Buddy and Mary in Western Maryland
Buddy with a friend at the Gateway Arch in
St. Louis
Chester, PA student and Buddy at Valley Forge
Buddy and Mary in Western Maryland
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Hey Kids,

November is the start of the holiday season! At the end of the month families will celebrate Thanksgiving by coming together and sharing all kinds of great food – turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing – I’m getting hungry already!

November is also National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month. Did you know that Thanksgiving was originally celebrated by Native Americans? In fact, Native Americans were living in North America for hundreds of years before the first European settlers arrived on the continent. Our national parks are a great place to check out Native American history including artifacts, ancient dwellings, cave paintings, and burial grounds.

Click here to find a park nearby where you can learn about Native American heritage in a fun and interesting way. There are tons of parks and monuments dedicated to Native American culture, so there’s bound to be one near you!

Happy adventuring,

Buddy Bison

Paddling Down the Anacostia River with Buddy Bison

Students begin their journey on the Anacostia
Students begin their journey on the Anacostia River.

From October 25 - 29, hundreds of Buddy Bison students from St. Ignatius Loyola Academy of Baltimore, as well as Washington D.C. area schools E.L. Haynes, Washington Latin, and Elsie Whitlow Stokes took a field trip to canoe the Anacostia River which runs through our nation’s capital. The students quickly learned how to safely paddle down the river, and along their journey saw all kinds of wildlife – great blue heron, hawks, cormorants, egrets, turtles, and beavers. The students also helped to keep the river clean by picking up litter that was floating by. Click here to see more pictures, and also, you can check out photos featured in The Washington Post!

Two of my friends from St. Ignatius, Bernard and Jose wrote about their amazing experience:

Thank you National Park Trust for giving us the chance to go canoeing. Although we were doing a fun activity we were also learning. I had a really great time and I think that canoeing is an activity that more city kids should experience.” - Bernard

“This field trip will help my classmates and me change our way of life by showing us the example of what happens when you throw trash any place other than where it is supposed to go. We also need to recycle and hold on to these lessons through high school.” - Jose

Thank you to Wilderness Inquiry, National Park Service, and Army Corps of Engineers for making this all possible. I would also like to thank the other students from St. Ignatius who sent in letters: Antwon, Diquan, Kobe, Timothy and Jahi. Thanks again and keep up the good work!


Gulf Area Schools See the Swamp, Marsh and Sea

A student casting for shrimp at Gulf Islands National Seashore
A student catches shrimp at Gulf Islands National Seashore.

On November 1st, students from Joseph Craig Elementary in New Orleans, LA visited the Barataria Preserve - part of the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park - where they participated in a program highlighting food chains and ecosystem webs, learned to “dip-net” in the swamp water, and went on a senses walk where they were encouraged to use all five senses to take in the environment.

The following day, students from Gorenflo Elementary in Biloxi, MS took a trip to the Gulf Islands National Seashore where they participated in a variety of exciting activities. They explored the exhibits in the Visitor Center, threw out some cast-nets and caught a few shrimp, and went on a walk through a marshland.

Chester Community Charter School Spends the Day with George Washington

Students ask “George Washington” questions outside of his 18th century cabin
Students ask "George Washington" questions outside of his 18th century cabin.

On October 20th and 21st, over three hundred students from Chester Community Charter School in Chester, PA took a field trip to Valley Forge National Historical Park. Valley Forge was the site where George Washington’s Continental Army formed during the winter of 1777-78 in the middle of the Revolutionary War.

The students had a chance to learn from “George Washington” himself, take a tour of his original cabin, find out what it was like to live as a soldier during the Revolutionary War, go on a nature hike through three biomes (wetlands, grasslands, forest), and play a game called “Oh Deer” that taught them about how animals interact in the wild.  

Thank You Caesars Foundation!

Chester students show their gratitude towards Caesars!
Buddy Bison students show their gratitude!

I would like to thank the Caesars Foundation for providing the necessary funds to make our trips to Jean Lafitte National Historical Park, Gulf Islands National Seashore and Valley Forge National Historical Park happen. We would also like to thank all the HERO (Harrah's Entertainment Reaching Out) volunteers who joined us for these park trips.

Discovery Charter School heads to the trails

Discovery Charter School Visits Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
Discovery students hiking across a bridge.

October 12th was Buddy Bison's first opportunity to hike in Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore with students from Discovery Charter School in Porter, IN. Mrs. Essany's third grade students were excited because they were taking a long hike on parts of the trail they had not yet explored. They were also excited to have Buddy Bison along, and worked out a plan so that each student would be able to carry Buddy for part of the journey. It was a beautiful fall day, and the students looked for signs of the season — colorful leaves, acorns and walnuts on the ground, and fungus growing on an old log!

Buddy Bison at Niagara Falls

Rachel, her family, and Buddy trying to stay dry
Rachel and Buddy Bison at Niagara Falls.

Last month, Rachel, a 1st grade student at Beauvoir, The National Cathedral Elementary School in Washington D.C., took Buddy Bison along when her family visited Niagara Falls in New York!

Here is what Rachel had to say:

“I went to Niagara Falls. I had fun. I saw a movie about Niagara Falls 100’s of years ago. I went to Canada and saw the butterfly exhibit. Canada is not far from Niagara Falls. I had fun.”

Remember to send in pictures of you and Buddy on your own adventures and explorations to adam@parktrust.org. Make sure you write something about your experience!


Buddy Bison book Illustrated by Bullis Third Graders

The front cover illustrated by the Bullis 3rd grade
The front cover illustrated by the Bullis 3rd grade students.

Recently, the third graders from the Bullis School in Potomac, MD illustrated a story (written by Rob Cohen) about Buddy Bison called “Buddy Bison: In Search of Volcanoes”. The story follows Buddy as he travels through Arizona, California, Oregon, and Washington. Click here to read the story and see all the wonderful illustrations done by the third graders from Bullis!

How much do you know about volcanoes? Did you know there are still active volcanoes in the United States? Click here to learn more about these fiery mountains!


Teach the Lessons of Native Americans

Teach the Lessons of the Native Americans Teaching your children about Native American culture and its importance in our country's history is a great way to introduce them to our parks and open spaces that need to be protected. The Native Americans were strong proponents of this idea and so is National Park Trust.

You can take your kids to a park and explain to them that Native Americans roamed lands like this for hundreds, even thousands of years, and many of them considered the protection and respect of these places to be the highest priority. If you live near one of the parks that celebrate Native American culture and history, go for a visit! 


Save the Date
The Second Annual National Kids to Parks Day is May 19, 2012! In January, we will be announcing more details about a student scholarship contest.


NPT 2012 Calendars

The 2012 National Park Trust calendars are now available! Click here to purchase one. All proceeds benefit our Youth to Parks National Scholarship Fund that provides park experiences for underserved kids.


Plan a Field Trip to a National Park
Our national parks have great programs that will work with your classes’ curriculum to create a valuable educational experience. Click here to see an example of how Valley Forge National Historical Park has made this great option possible!

"Explore outdoors, the parks are yours!" Buddy Bison wants you to visit, explore and protect our nation's parks. Bring him along as you roam and tell everyone Where Buddy Bison's Been!

National Park Trust / 401 East Jefferson Street, Suite 102, Rockville, MD 20850/ 301–279–PARK (7275)

buddy@buddybison.org /www.buddybison.org

National Park Trust