NPT News - September 2011


September 2011 ISSUE
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NPT News

Mission: The National Park Trust's mission is to champion the preservation of America's critical
parklands through land acquisition, education and partnerships.

Getting Kids Outdoors is Central Focus during "Outdoors America Week" in D.C.

Colorado Senator Mark Udall (bottom right) with veteran and youth ambassadors from OAK

The NPT is proud to be a member of OAK (Outdoors Alliance for Kids), a national strategic partnership of organizations that recently hosted “Outdoors America Week” in Washington D.C. During the week, members of Congress including Mark Udall (Senator – CO), and Ron Kind (Rep. – WI), met with members of the outdoor community and spoke about the many benefits of devoting our time and efforts to getting our nation’s youth in touch with nature. They discussed the proposed Healthy Kids Outdoors Act – legislation that would provide state-level incentives to develop 5-year strategies to connect children, youth, and families with the natural world.

“I was very inspired by all of the speakers because of their passion for the outdoors and the emphasis they placed on the importance of sharing that passion with others,” said NPT’s Development Coordinator Adam Wieczorek, who attended the event. Senator Udall, the 2010 recipient of NPT’s Bruce F.  Vento Public Service Award, talked about his experiences growing up as a mountaineer and how his ability to enjoy nature has enriched his life – both personally and professionally. Another very moving speaker was Juan Herrera, a Youth Ambassador for Outdoor Nation who survived a childhood of abuse and neglect on the streets of San Diego as a homeless teen. Herrera discussed how the excitement of outdoor adventuring such as rock climbing, snowboarding, and surfing kept him away from the influences of crime and drugs. Now, Herrera works with Outdoor Nation to introduce similarly at-risk and underprivileged youth to the wonders of outdoor adventure.

Through our Buddy Bison program, NPT is working harder than ever to get our nation’s youth back in touch with our nation’s parks and the natural world in general. To learn more about this program click here.

NPT Partners with The North Face for Second Annual "Explore Your Parks" Program

The North Face has partnered with NPT as well as our nation’s state parks for the second annual Explore Your Parks (EYP) program. Anyone can participate in the program by visiting a participating retailer and purchasing any of The North Face products. Those who make one of these purchases will receive a free State Park Day Pass – a one of a kind pass that was created specifically for this program. The EYP has expanded to seven major cities this year, including San Francisco, Boston, New York, Washington D.C., Denver, Portland, and the Twin Cities. To learn more, and to search for the park nearest you, visit

The Explore Your Parks Program is putting on three events in the month of October in different parts of the country:

After Hurricane Hardships, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Dedication Scheduled

Two months after it was originally scheduled, the dedication ceremony for the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington D.C. will occur on Sunday, October 16th. The original dedication had to be postponed due to threatening weather circumstances related to Hurricane Irene.

Harry E. Johnson Sr. of the MLK Jr. Project Foundation said in a statement, “Due to the postponement, we are planning an event much smaller in scale but just as big in spirit.” It is estimated that there will only be about 50,000 attendees, less than the 250,000 that were originally expected in August. The Obamas are still expected to attend as well as Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who was a past recipient of the NPT American Park Experience Award.

New Schools Join Where's Buddy Bison Been? Program

The NPT would like to extend a warm welcome to the newest members of the Where’s Buddy Bison Been? school program in 2011! Nine schools from across the country have joined the program for the upcoming year. Together, NPT and Buddy Bison are looking forward to educating the students from Brooklyn Jesuit Prep, NY; Chester Community Charter School, PA; Discovery Charter School, IN; Gorenflo Elementary School, MS; Longfellow Elementary School, IA; Washington Jesuit Academy, D.C.; Saint Ignatius School, NY; Smithville Upper Elementary School, MO; and Joseph Craig Elementary School, LA.

The goals of the Buddy Bison program are to connect kids to our nation’s parks, cultivate the next generation of conservation professionals and park stewards, and promote healthy living.


Conservation of Public Lands Creates Jobs

NPT has been in the business of protecting public lands for nearly 30 years, with current projects in Glacier National Park, Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, and Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.

A new study by the Center for American Progress finds that the protection and sustainable management of public lands, including those in national parks, is critical for creating and supporting jobs.  This is particularly true in rural areas, which have been hardest hit by the recession.

The study finds that conservation has enormous economic value, supporting a specific economy in recreation, restoration, and renewable energy development, all of which support numerous jobs. What’s more, these jobs in outdoor retail, the concessionaire business, outfitters and guides, and the construction industry to repair damaged lands and build renewable energy are frequently located in rural areas.

For increased job creation from conservation on public lands, stronger leadership is specifically needed in five crucial categories:

  • Recreation
  • Rural economies and protected lands
  • Renewable energy development
  • Restoration of treasured landscapes
  • Sustainable forest management

Together these policies stimulate a conservation economy that provides a strong and vital economic impact. Click here to read the study’s policy recommendations, which include fully funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a critical tool to ensuring the protection of our nation’s parks.

The Green Cure for ADHD?

According to a recent study, the average American child spends only 4-7 minutes a day in an unstructured outdoor environment, while spending an average of 7.5 hours every day in front of electronic media. In children who have attention deficit disorder (ADHD), which, as of 2007, was 9.5% of children aged 4-17, it is proven that there is a definite link between the children’s routine play settings and the severity of their symptoms.

It has been proven that children with ADHD benefit from “green time”, where they have the opportunity to conduct activities in a green outdoor setting as opposed to a controlled indoor setting or a “built outdoor” setting. Children’s “green time” correlated with reduced symptoms of ADHD immediately afterwards, compared to activities in the other settings. Although there are several widely-used medications available for children with ADHD, a healthy dose of the outdoors could be a much more safe and cost-effective way to combat the negative effects of the disorder.

NPT is an advocate of getting our nation’s youth, especially those aged 4-17, to experience the outdoors on a regular basis. The reduction of ADHD symptoms is just one of the many justifiable reasons behind our mission. Click here to read about what NPT is doing to get kids outdoors on a regular basis.

Buddy Bison and Friends to Celebrate 2nd Annual Fossil Day on October 12th

The 2nd Annual Fossil Day is taking place on Wednesday, October 12th to promote the scientific and educational value of fossils as well as celebrate Earth Science Week. Events to celebrate the Fossil Day are occurring across the country, but the main event will occur on the National Mall, where there will be a variety of presentations and activities for all ages to enjoy.

Those who attend will have the opportunity to dig for their own fossil souvenirs in fossil-rich sediment, and have them identified by scientists from the Smithsonian! You can also bring your own fossils in for identification. NPT’s Buddy Bison will be in attendance for the event as well! It all happens on Wednesday, October 12th on the National Mall, from 10:00am – 2:00pm. Don’t miss out!

NPT’s federal partnerships for this event include National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Science Foundation, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. For more information on the 2nd Annual Fossil Day, and to find out more about what is going on in your area - click here.

National Park Trust  /  401 E. Jefferson Street, Suite 102  /  Rockville, MD 20850  /  Email:  /