• 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.

Education Coordinator

As the Education Coordinator for National Park Trust, Cari supports all aspects of the Buddy Bison School Program and Kids to Parks Day. Part of her responsibilities include identifying Title 1 schools in urban communities that have a need to connect their students with the outdoors. Working with teachers, Cari identifies pieces of their established curriculum that can be bolstered through real-world experience, then ties in parks that meet those needs.

She also is the lead for our Kids to Parks Day National School Contest which in 2016 awarded approximately 90 Title 1 schools with park grants to celebrate Kids to Parks Day in May.

Cari obtained her Bachelor of Arts in equine science from Otterbein University and her Master of Education in secondary education with a concentration in biology from DePaul University. As a Chicago Public School teacher, Cari focused on instilling a love of physical, earth, and life sciences in middle school students at a Title 1 school in the Pilsen-Little Village community. In addition to inspiring students to think critically, Cari drove a transition to inquiry-based science instruction within the school.

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