Building on the Obama Legacy
From Grace Lee, National Park Trust's executive director:
"Over the past eight years, we have been honored and privileged to work with the Obama Administration, Department of the Interior (DOI), National Park Service (NPS), U.S. Forest Service (USFS), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, White House Council on Environmental Quality (WH CEQ), U.S. Fish and Wildlife, and many others to engage and connect tens of thousands of our Buddy Bison students with our parks and public lands. In 2015, President Barack Obama launched the Every Kid in a Park movement. Little did we at NPT know how much that movement, along with the NPS Centennial, would help us to expand our reach and the number of under-served students we would be able to impact.
Thanks to generous support from NPS Director Jon Jarvis and NPS Centennial Challenge Funds, the National Park Foundation, REI, The North Face, the Outdoor Foundation, U.S. Forest Service, National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and many, many others, we have been able to provide life-changing park experiences through our Buddy Bison School Program for 20,000 under-served students across the country in just the past two years and more than 50,000 students over the past 8 years!
In addition, looking back to 2011, First Lady Michelle Obama began her important work to encourage kids and their families to develop a more healthy and active lifestyle with Let's Move!. In fact, Let's Move! inspired us to create our national Kids to Parks Day (KTP) that same year working with the Let's Move Cities and Towns. Since 2011, KTP Day has grown tremendously with more than 730,000 participants in 2016. We are looking forward to celebrating the 7th annual KTP Day on May 20, 2017.
Finally, we are very grateful to both DOI Secretary Sally Jewell's Play, Learn, Work, and Serve and former DOI Secretary Ken Salazar's Youth in the Great Outdoors initiatives which encourage kids across the country to not only get out and enjoy the outdoors, but also to take care of our precious parks and public lands for future generations – the cornerstone of NPT's mission of preserving parks today and creating park stewards for tomorrow.
As we kick off the new year, the NPT board and staff thank all of these leaders and their dedicated staff for their extraordinary efforts that have resulted in a legacy that we will continue to build upon with the new Trump Administration. We look forward to working together to preserve our parks and cultivate the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts and stewards of our public lands and waters. As Buddy Bison says, 'Explore outdoors, the parks are yours!' "