Buddy Bison Students Kick Off 5th Year

Across the country, NPT kicked off the 5th year of our Buddy Bison environmental education program by engaging more than 1,000 students with their local, state and national parks.

Here is a snapshot:

  • In Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., the federal shutdown did not prevent 500 students representing eight Buddy Bison schools from exploring the Anacostia River with the help of our partner Wilderness Inquiry (WI). WI brought six, 24-ft Voyageur canoes from St. Paul, Minnesota to Bladensburg Waterfront Park in Prince George’s County, MD. For most of these elementary and middle school students, this was their first time on the river. They had a terrific time learning about native wildlife and plants, the importance of keeping our rivers clean,  and about water safety
  • In Mississippi, Buddy Bison students from Escatawpa Upper Elementary School (Moss Point, MS) and Forest Elementary School (Forest, MS) explored their local river and state park. More than 140, 5th -grade students from Escatawpa Upper Elementary School went on a river boat tour of the bayou at the Pascagoula River Audubon Center.  They learned about swamps and the animals that have adapted to live in that environment.  One hundred fifty, 2nd -grade students from Forest Elementary visited LeFleur’s Bluff State Park and the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, located within the park.  They hiked the nature trails, saw a reptile show, and learned about the native wildlife and their habitat through hands-on exhibits.
  • In Georgia, 300 students from Hollydale and Fair Oaks Elementary Schools retraced the steps of Civil War soldiers at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park by hiking to the very top of the mountain.  They learned about the hard life of the soldiers, why the railroad system made the battle for Kennesaw so important, and about the unique geology of the mountain.

Our thanks to the Southern Company Charitable Foundation, Inc. for their generous support for our new schools in Georgia and Mississippi. If you are interested in learning how you can adopt-a-school in your community, contact Shana Newman Fajardo at 301-279-7275, ext 15 or at

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