Kids to Parks Day is May 16, 2020! National Park Trust (NPT) invites students across the country to participate in the 10th annual Kids to Parks Day, a nationwide grassroots movement to celebrate America’s parks and public lands.
In honor of this day, NPT is once again hosting the Kids to Parks Day National School Contest to help educators engage their students with their local parks. This national contest is open to all Title I schools in the United States (grades pre-K through 12). Classes can receive funding for a Kids to Parks Day event at a local park or public land/waterway in their community.
Students must research and write the proposal themselves. (Though we encourage teachers to provide support and feedback!) Teachers and staff will also have a short section to complete as well. Your entries should explain how your experience will promote education, health and wellness, and park stewardship. NPT will award park grants up to $1,000 to winning entries. We encourage schools to implement their Kids to Parks Day event during the month of May 2020 but exceptions can be made based on school schedules.
The Contest opens October 23rd, 2019 and all entries are due by February 14th, 2020.
To learn more, or to apply, visit https://www.parktrust.org/kids-to-parks-day/school-contest/
NPT Partners With NPS, Cities, Towns, And States Around The Country To Promote National Day Of Outdoor Play And Park Appreciation; 1,400+ Park Events Planned; 1.1 Million + To Participate
See original posting on PRNewswire
WASHINGTON, May 9, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — In celebration of Kids to Parks Day, held annually the third Saturday in May, millions of Americans will join National Park Trust (NPT) and its many partners on May 18th to honor America’s parks and public lands by attending over 1,400 free park events in all 50 states and Washington, DC.
The United States Senate passed a resolution of support declaring May 18, 2019 Kids to Parks Day.
“National Park Trust hopes families across America will commemorate Kids to Parks Day by planning a fun family outing, attending a park event, or joining a collective celebration in what has become a national day of outdoor play and park appreciation,” said Grace Lee, executive director of NPT.
Mayors from more than 430 cities and towns –including Montgomery (AL), Tucson (AZ), Sacramento (CA), Denver (CO), Washington (DC), Honolulu (HI), Detroit (MI), Kansas City (MO), Las Vegas (NV), Newark (NJ), Albuquerque (NM), and Austin (TX) have signed resolutions of support.
Visit www.kidstoparks.org for a complete list of park events by state and downloadable tips and activity guides to help children, families, and teachers plan park adventures. Those who pledge to participate and share their adventures with the hashtag #KidstoParks on May 18th will also have a chance to win a camping package from The North Face as well as other outdoor gear gifts from partners including National Geographic Kids, Eastern National and Parks Project.
Kids to Parks Day is the signature event of NPT’s popular Buddy Bison® School Program which teaches environmental education. Through its woolly mascot Buddy Bison, NPT encourages children to “Explore outdoors, the parks are yours!” 77 elementary and middle Title I schools, in 17 states and Washington, DC participate in the Buddy Bison School Program, which provides classroom resources and fully funded park trips that enhance and expand school curricula.
ABOUT NATIONAL PARK TRUST
National Park Trust (NPT) is a non-profit dedicated to preserving parks today and creating park stewards for tomorrow. NPT is the only land trust with a comprehensive mission of protecting national parks through land acquisition and creating a pipeline of future park stewards by getting kids to parks. Since 1983, NPT has completed 70 land projects in 31 states, the US Virgin Islands, and Washington, DC. This school year, NPT will provide an estimated 25,000 under-served kids with park trips through their nationally recognized Buddy Bison Programs and Kids to Parks Day National School Contest, both of which support Title I schools.
Find out more at www.parktrust.org.
For Immediate Release: May 8, 2019
Contact: Nicole L’Esperance (Wyden) 202-224-3789
Kevin Smith (Portman) 202-224-3353
Christina Mandreucci (Alexander) 202-224-4944
Aaron Morales (Heinrich) 202-228-1578
Will Dempster (Hirono) 202-224-9813
Kristin Lynch (Booker) 202-224-8378
Senate Passes Bipartisan “Kids to Parks Day” Resolution
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., Mazie K. Hirono, D-Hawaii, and Cory Booker, D-N.J., applauded the passage of their bipartisan resolution, which encourages children to get outdoors by designating May 18, 2019 National Kids to Parks Day.
First celebrated by the National Park Trust in 2011, the ninth annual Kids to Parks Day marks the beginning of a summer-long series of events at state parks countrywide that promote outdoor recreation and active, healthy living. The Senate passed the resolution by unanimous consent yesterday.
“Love for outdoor recreation is in Oregon’s DNA,” Wyden said. “Oregonians pass on that appreciation of our natural resources and enjoyment of the outdoors from generation to generation. Kids to Parks Day is another important way to connect our young folks to the richness of the outdoors and enjoy all that Oregon and states across the country have to offer.”
“It is important that we encourage younger generations to enjoy and experience the outdoors, and as a frequent visitor to our national parks I’m pleased that thousands of kids in Ohio will be visiting and learning about these national treasures on Kids to Parks Day,” Portman said. “I am proud to support the Kids to Parks Day Resolution to encourage more young people and their families to visit our treasured national parks.”
“In the age of technology, our national parks are more important now than ever before. Growing up in Maryville, Tennessee, which is next to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, I was able to take advantage of our country’s natural beauty and learn history in a place where history comes alive. It is my hope that children across the country take the time to celebrate Kids to Parks Day on May 18 and create memories of their own,” Alexander said.
“Our national parks offer endless opportunities for kids to discover, learn, and play,” said Heinrich whose bipartisan legislation, the Every Kid Outdoors Act, was signed into law earlier this year. “Connecting kids to the outdoors, whether it is playing in the local park down the street or exploring Carlsbad Caverns National Park, can inspire the next generation of conservationists, while reaping all of the health benefits that go along with an active lifestyle. I encourage New Mexico families to take advantage of Kids to Parks Day and visit our treasured public lands.”
“With over 50 state and national parks in Hawaii, our resolution encourages keiki to get outdoors and stay active. Our parks offer an important opportunity for our next generation to explore and learn how natural resources contribute to Hawaii’s rich cultural heritage,” Hirono said. “By designating May 18 as National Kids to Parks Day, we can help instill in our keiki the importance of healthy outdoor recreation and environmental stewardship for years to come.”
“In New Jersey, and all across the country, our parks are a national treasure that allow Americans to immerse themselves in our natural environment and the great outdoors,” Booker said. “Kids to Parks Day encourages kids and families to enjoy our state and national parks, while helping instill a love and appreciation for the great outdoors among the next generation.”
More than 1 million people participated in last year’s Kids to Parks Day, according to the National Park Trust.
This year’s Kids to Parks Day will be celebrated Saturday, May 18, 2019. To find a list of events near you, click here.
Rockville, MD (February 21, 2019) – National Park Trust (NPT) is pleased to announce that it has received renewed funding from the First Solar Corporate Charitable Fund of the Toledo Community Foundation in support of the Kids to Parks Day National School Contest. The First Solar Corporate Charitable Fund has had a long term partnership with NPT dating back to 2012.
With the $25,000 gift from First Solar, National Park Trust will be able to support 25 Title I schools through their Kids to Parks Day National School Contest. For many of these students, this will be their first park experience. The Kids to Parks Day Contest is a national program providing up to $1,000 per school to cover transportation costs, program and stewardship project fees School bus funding is the biggest barrier to the outdoors for students in Title I schools. This year’s contest closed on February 14th and is open each year to Pre K through 12th graders that attend Title I schools, the federal indicator of low-income schools.
Each year, using their grants, the students discover a local park where they enjoy outdoor recreation, use the park as an outdoor science or history classroom, and learn about their role as park stewards by participating in service projects.
“We are pleased to continue our support for the Kids to Parks Day School Contest,” said Keith Burwell, President of Toledo Community Foundation. “This program directly responds to the first tenet of First Solar’s corporate giving values, to support “green” education initiatives.”
“On behalf of the thousands of students from Title I schools that benefit from our multi-year partnership, we are very grateful for this renewed generous gift from the First Solar Corporate Charitable Fund of the Toledo Community Foundation. Each year, these students look forward to discovering and exploring new parks in celebration of Kids to Parks Day,” stated Grace Lee, Executive Director, National Park Trust.
ABOUT NATIONAL PARK TRUST National Park Trust (NPT) is a non-profit dedicated to preserving parks today and creating park stewards for tomorrow. NPT is the only land trust with a comprehensive mission of protecting national parks through land acquisition and creating a pipeline of future park stewards by getting kids to parks. Since 1983, NPT has completed 70 land projects in 31 states, 1 US Territory, and Washington, DC. This school year, NPT will provide an estimated 25,000 under-served kids with park trips through their nationally recognized Buddy Bison School Program and Kids to Parks Day National School Contest, both of which support Title I schools. Find out more at www.parktrust.org ABOUT TOLEDO
COMMUNITY FOUNDATION Toledo Community Foundation, Inc. is a public charitable organization created by citizens of our community to enrich the quality of life for individuals and families in our area. In existence since 1973, the Foundation has more than 800 funds with assets of approximately $287 million. The Foundation provides philanthropic services for individuals, families, businesses, and corporations to meet their charitable giving needs. For more information on the Foundation, visit the organization’s website at www.toledocf.org or follow them on Facebook.
National Park Trust Advisory Board member and longtime teacher, Carolyn Cohen has had a large impact on our Buddy Bison School Program over the eight years she has worked with us. This month, she shares the story of how her Kids to Parks Day lesson left a lasting impression on her students.
“For eight years as an elementary school teacher, I championed National Park Trust’s mission to make our local and national parks accessible to children of all economic backgrounds. I witnessed the joy of children playfully engaged with nature, incorporating life skills such as problem solving, cooperation, and stewardship, while reaping the health benefits inherent in outdoor play.
Washington Grove students pose with a beaver-felled stump during their park trip.
Through National Park Trust I learned that many children did not have the opportunity to take advantage of our local, state, and national parks. Not all schools could afford the transportation costs for a park visit, and many families did not have the means or the transportation options to visit these parks on their own. To help address this inequality I decided to have my third grade class enter the Kids to Parks Day School Contest on behalf of a nearby Title I public school. They would calculate the budget and create a compelling story for their narrative to explain why this Title I school should receive a free park trip in their stead from National Park Trust.
The process of completing the application was an extremely gratifying endeavor for the students, it worked perfectly with my curriculum and provided an experiential learning component for them that was relevant and tangible. The students researched costs of snacks for the trip and used the food ads in newspapers to find the best bargains for healthy snacks. Budgeting for this gave them experience combining math skills and economically derived decision making.
My students worked together and decided that using a persuasive writing style would be more interesting and help them win the contest. They researched local parks, collecting photos of their favorites and adding captions to captivate their audience. They learned how to choose a park within reasonable proximity to the selected school and planned a boat trip on a lake for the lucky winners. Some of the children even called the selected park to determine any additional costs for this experience. The students exhibited great joy as they worked hard to provide this trip to other kids who would not otherwise be able to enjoy such a field trip. Their final application was an entire book, bound to accompany their application—a beautiful blend of technology and written expression showing why another class deserved this trip.
When my class learned that they were one of the national winners, the cheers were deafening, there were high-fives all around and smiles that could not have been bigger. They were so proud that their hard work had paid off and that kids just like them that couldn’t have visited a park otherwise were going to experience the fun and adventure of a trip outside. The best moment came for my students at the end of the year, when they received handmade thank you cards from the fifty students from the winning school, expressing their gratitude for the free park trip.
Thank you note from Washington Grove student
Because of my students, fifty children went on a free class trip that seamlessly integrated with their science curriculum and let them witness first hand the habitats and ecosystems they were studying in class. They took a boat ride—many for the first time in their lives—with a naturalist who showed them the species they had studied in class. Their day was filled with healthy outdoor exercise and allowed them to engage with nature and experience the wonder of the outdoors.
We too often live with a narrow view of the world, not cognizant of the discrepancies that exist for populations of children in our own backyards. If we continue to find ways for our youth to show their concern for others through environmental awareness contests like this one, we can make a difference. Not only will our environment prosper but our humanity will as well.” —Carolyn Cohen