• Thanks to your support, 2016 was a record-breaking year for Kids to Parks Day! Watch our KTP Day 2016 summary video.​

    Mapping our progress


  • Since 1983, NPT has supported and assisted in acquiring inholdings and in developing public and private partnerships to promote the acquisition and preservation of parks, wildlife refuges, historic landmarks, public lands, and water ways. We have completed more than 100 park projects benefiting 49 national park units and other public lands in 33 states. To learn more about about our work and how you can get involved, contact Dick Ring, NPT Park Projects Director.

  • Buddy Bison® School Program: Because Kids Need Parks and Parks Need Kids

    The Buddy Bison school program was created in 2009 to engage diverse children from Title I schools with their local, state and national parks to teach environmental education and the numerous benefits of outdoor recreation. If parks are to survive, the face of those parks must change and under-served communities must have access to these local cultural and environmental resources. More than 80% of the students in the Buddy Bison school program qualify for free or reduced-priced lunch, predominantly in inner city communities. This program has been used in 60 schools across the country in grades pre-K through 8th in public, public charter and private schools across the country (20 states and Washington D.C.).

    This experiential learning program enhances existing school curricula throughout the year with emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) as well as history, language arts, reading, geography, the arts, and outdoor recreation. Students also learn about the careers of professionals who support our parks-- and the importance of stewarding our public lands. And in addition to bringing kids to parks, we bring parks to kids by arranging schools visits from our many conservation partners.

    To learn more about how you can get involved, contact Billy Schrack, NPT Director of Youth Programs.

For more information on attendance / sponsorships, contact Grace Lee – (301) 279-7275 ext. 14 / grace@parktrust.org

Senator Ron Wyden (Oregon)

Ron Wyden official portrait cropWashington, D.C. (February 24, 2014) – National Park Trust (NPT) is pleased to announce that Oregon U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, Chair of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, will receive the 2014 Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award. The award will be presented to the Senator at a reception at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. on June 11, 2014. 

"Preserving Oregon's special places has been near the top of my agenda ever since I was elected to Congress, not only because it helps the environment but also because outdoor recreation creates a lot of jobs in our part of the world. National parks are a resource that everyone can enjoy, so this award from the National Park Trust is truly an honor," said Sen. Ron Wyden.

NPT will recognize Senator Wyden for his outstanding record in park preservation and environmental stewardship, and for his ability to create bipartisan solutions. One of his greatest accomplishments in recent years was his leadership on the Omnibus Public Land Management Act. This Act protected over 150,000 acres of land in Oregon, and created new wilderness for future generations to enjoy. Senator Wyden has also been a steadfast supporter of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, continuously pushing legislation that would guarantee full funding. Senator Wyden also co-sponsored a Senate Resolution officially recognizing NPT's Kids to Parks Day in May 2013.

"I am so delighted that NPT is honoring Senator Ron Wyden with the Vento Award. I know that Bruce would be delighted as well. Senator Wyden's commitment to preserving our nation's treasured national parks and environment and providing opportunities for all citizens- especially children – to experience our national parks makes him a public servant who truly deserves NPT's recognition," said Sue Vento, NPT Leadership Council.

Past Recipients

2013: Representative Mike Simpson of Idaho
2012: Senator Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico
2011: Senator Susan Collins of Maine
2010: Senator Mark Udall of Colorado
2009: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California
2008: Senator Harry Reid of Nevada
2007: Congressman George Miller of California
2006: Senator John McCain of Arizona
2005: Senator Bob Graham of Florida
2004: Congressman John Lewis of Georgia
2003: Congresswoman Connie Morella of Maryland
2002: Congressman John F. Seiberling of Ohio
2001: Lt. Governor of Alaska Lowell Thomas, Jr. 

The Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award is given annually to a public servant who has demonstrated a lifetime of outstanding service, skill, resourcefulness or innovation in the preservation of land, water or historic resources for the legacy of America.

In 2000, National Park Trust established the Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award to honor the memory and legacy of Bruce Vento, a 12-term Member of Congress from Minnesota and former Chair of the Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands. During his tenure, Congressman Vento passed more park legislation than any other previous chairman. Congressman Vento died on October 10, 2000 at the age of 60.

Each recipient of the Vento Award has expanded the nation's understanding of what it means to have a lifelong legacy and commitment to protecting America's heritage.

Past award recipient, Congressman John Lewis stated in his 2004 address, "Bruce Vento was a good man. He was an environmental stalwart – a Member who stood second to no one when it came to protecting our environment, strengthening our parks, and preserving our national heritage. He was the environmental conscience of the House, and he continues to inspire Members of Congress – and people throughout the country – who are fighting to make our nation a little cleaner and a little greener for our children and generations yet unborn."

At a 2000 dinner tribute to Vento, former President Bill Clinton said, "He has steered into law more than 300 bills to protect our natural resources." Fellow Minnesotan and former Vice-President Walter Mondale stated, "I think Bruce Vento has been one of the most impressive and effective congressman in modern Minnesota history. It's hard to think of an environmental issue where his leadership has not been found."

Born on October 7, 1940 in St. Paul, Vento attended the University of Minnesota and Wisconsin State University. He worked as a science and social studies teacher before his election to the state House in 1970. He was elected to his first term in Congress in 1976.

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