• 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.
American Conservationist Honored with first National Park Trust Award

Lowell Thomas, Jr. receives the first Bruce F. Vento Award


Anchorage, AK, August 8, 2001 - Lowell Thomas, Jr., today received the first Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award. The National Park Trust recognized Thomas’ lifelong commitment to parklands at a ceremony in Anchorage, Alaska. The event was attended by conservation leaders from across the country.


“Lowell Thomas, Jr. continues to call for the preservation of our delicate earth,” said Steve Miller, chairman of the National Park Trust. “He not only has fought for parks and wildlife in

Alaska, but has personally contributed to the preservation of other parks throughout the nation.”

“I only helped people do what they were committed to doing,” said Thomas in accepting the award. Thomas is credited with leading the battle to establish Alaska’s Chugach State Park when he was a state senator and lieutenant governor.

“When the Alaska wolves had no protector from aerial hunting, Lowell spoke up. When the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge needed a champion, Lowell stepped forward. Whenever we need to truly understand issues facing parklands, we call on Lowell,” said Paul Pritchard, founder and president of the National Park Trust. “And to his credit, he always attributes his contributions to others.”

The National Park Trust established The Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award in recognition of Vento’s lifelong dedication to the preservation of America's national heritage. The award is given to an individual who has demonstrated a lifetime of distinguished skill, resourcefulness or innovation in the preservation of land, water or historic resources for the legacy of America.

As a U.S. Congressman from Minnesota, the late Vento served as the Chairman of the Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands for more than a decade. He is credited with more laws that preserve parks, forests and wilderness areas than any other time in recent history.

Founded in 1983, the National Park Trust is the only land conservancy dedicated to preserving America’s national system of parks, wildlife, and historic monuments.

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