Buddy Bison's Buzz - August 2013

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Can you guess this park?
Photo Credit: National Park Service

Hey Kids,

Buddy Bison's days of summer are still here! Vacations, longer days, and nice weather are a great formula for exploring the great outdoors. Take a dip in the water or relax in the shade under your favorite tree. For many kids, school will start soon so enjoy these last days! Speaking of school, I was so touched to learn that early this summer, the Bullis School 3rd graders donated their artistic talents and resources to help kids enjoy a park located over 1,000 miles away in St. Paul, MN. Read about this and other great adventures in this month’s issue.

“Explore outdoors, the parks are yours!”

Your friend,
Buddy Bison

Bullis 3rd Grade Students

Pennies for Parks: Buddy Bison students have a far reach!

Handcrafted bracelets were made and sold by 3rd-grade students at the Bullis School, MD to benefit their Pennies for Parks Fund. Together, these 18 artists sold 65 bracelets. What a great way to raise money for a park stewardship project!

The class voted to donate their resources to the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary in St. Paul, MN to help fund the construction of a new outdoor classroom where local St. Paul children will be able to enjoy fun, hands-on learning in this urban park near the Mississippi River. I love seeing kids helping other kids enjoy our open spaces. This park is located over 1,000 miles away from their school in Potomac, MD!

Thank you Bullis 3rd-grade students for being wonderful ambassadors for our parks! We look forward to sharing photos of the classroom when it is completed this fall.

This project will also be supported by generous gifts from the 3M Foundation and the McNeely Foundation in partnership with the Lower Phalen Creek Project and National Park Trust.

Jared and one of the many alligators from the Everglades.

Alligators in the Everglades

During your summer break, make sure you take me along on your travels. Jared, a Buddy Bison student from Longfellow Elementary School in Iowa and I went to Everglades National Park. Even though it was hot, we had a great time together exploring the swamps of Southern Florida.

“I saw a 7-foot alligator about 9 feet away from me. My heart exploded with fear, it felt like I was lunch to the alligator. But at the same time I thought it was cool because I’ve never been that close to a big alligator before. I still backed away from it slowly because I thought that the alligator was going to pounce on me,” stated Jared.

Wow that sounds exciting. Good thing you didn’t get closer! Let me know about your experiences this summer by emailing Buddy@BuddyBison.org. I can’t wait to read your stories.

Click here to read Jared’s full story

Students relaxing after a full day at the U.S. National Arboretum, Washington D.C.

A Day of Fun with Sunshine

Want to know a great way to spend a summer day? How about at the U.S. National Arboretum and Washington Youth Garden with 50 preschool students from Sunshine Early Learning Center! The 3, 4 and 5 year-old students from Washington D.C. had a great time running in the fields, exploring Fern Valley and the Youth Garden. One of the highlights was helping the gardeners; the kids sorted worms, picked crops, and dug for vegetables. Of course they also had fun in the corn maze and natural play space. I was a tired bison by the end of the day, but it was worth seeing their smiles and excitement! See more photos here.

We are very thankful to the SunTrust Foundation for funding the Sunshine Learning Center as our first Buddy Bison preschool.

Teachers at the Flag House & Star-Spangled Museum, Baltimore, MD.

Teachers Love to Learn Too!

The enthusiastic rangers from the National Park Service Chesapeake Bay (MD) Office took me on another adventure, this time with wonderful school teachers! I never knew that the national parks offered teacher workshops so they can learn about the park and then bring the lessons back to their classroom. What a wonderful example of why parks are great places to learn!

Not every teacher can make it to the Chesapeake Bay parks, but there is a chance to find a Teacher Professional Development Seminar near you. Visit this website for more information. Maybe I’ll even be at the park and see you there.

Teacher’s and Parent’s Corner

Buddy Bison spent time this summer doing something a little bit different from his usual exploration of the great outdoors. He knows that we are in the middle of the commemoration of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 and decided he wanted to brush up on his history. He joined in a Teacher Professional Development Seminar on the War of 1812 that was sponsored by the National Park Service from July 15th-19th. The seminar was held at the Center for the Constitution which is on the grounds of James Madison’s former plantation in Virginia, Montpelier.

Buddy and the teachers, who came from Maryland and Virginia, spent time with nationally known scholars, touring the mansion and grounds and learning all about the War of 1812. They took a fieldtrip to Baltimore on the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail. They visited Fort McHenry and the Flag House Museum where they learned about the making of the Star-Spangled Banner Flag and the writing of the National Anthem. It was a great week as teachers learned a lot they can take back to their classrooms in the fall and Buddy feels ready to be a part of the big year of the Bicentennial Commemoration – 2014!

Find a workshop in your area by visiting this website.

NPT would like to thank Abbi Wicklein-Bayne, Interpretive Specialist at the NPS Chesapeake Bay Office, for providing this information.

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