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Send a Kid to a Park

Can you guess this location? Hint: This spot is a world-famous meander of the

Colorado River. Find out the answer next month.  Photo courtesy of Frank Lee

Ruggles Photography. Answer from last month: Bryce Canyon National Park.

School is back in session and I’m ready to go on some exciting park adventures this year! In fact, did you know that President Obama just kicked off his new initiative Every Kid in a Park? Read more below about how every fourth grader can get free access to federal lands this school year. I can’t wait to join thousands of students around the country on their park experiences. 

The long Labor Day weekend gives your family extra time to explore parks and take advantage of the last days of summer. Send your pictures and park stories to Buddy@BuddyBison.org. Also mark your calendars, September 26 is National Public Lands Day and all national parks are free. You can count on me being outside!

Your friend,


Buddy Bison

Calling All Fourth Graders!

Have you heard the buzz? This school year, each fourth grader or age equivalent free-choice learner will have the opportunity to get free access to all federally managed lands and waters as part of President Obama's Every Kid in a Park initiative. This program is part of the president's commitment to protect our nation's unique outdoor spaces and ensure that every American has the opportunity to visit and enjoy them. I hope this exciting program will encourage you to explore outdoors and have fun. I can’t wait to start visiting parks this fall and help bring thousands of fourth graders outdoors. For more information including how to get a pass, visit www.everykidinapark.gov, #EveryKidInAPark.


It's all smiles and fun for Buddy Bison students from Dare2B as they visit Brooklyn Bridge Park in New York City. Photo courtesy of Dare2B.

Homeless Youth Meet Park Leaders at Brooklyn Bridge Park

Another summer means another fantastic park trip to Brooklyn Bridge Park (BBP) in New York City for shelter kids. Thanks to our continued partnership with Dare2B and The North Face, more than 30 excited Buddy Bison students from a shelter in the Bronx spent the day outside learning about sustainability and park careers. The goal of this partnership is to teach homeless students about “green” career opportunities that support our parks.
 
BBP Education Manager, Isa Del Bello, discussed the park’s history and ecology as part of their sustainable landscape program. She even had the kids team up to build water filtration units to learn about sediment composition. How cool is that? Several park professionals from BBP discussed their careers preserving parks and the importance of maintaining these natural areas, especially in urban communities. One of the local volunteer chaperones stated,

"This was a great experience. The kids weren't the only ones who learned. We learned a lot today as well. I grew up in this neighborhood and had no idea all this was created. This was great for the kids and for us." 
 
A huge Buddy Bison shout out to The North Face (@TheNorthFace) for supporting this partnership through their Explore Fund Grant. Click here for more photos from the BBP trip!  Would you like to support an underserved school in your community? Contact Collin Knauss at Collin@parktrust.org.

Tigran’s Travels: Where's Buddy Bison Been?

Remember Tigran Nahabedian, our first Student Buddy Bison Ambassador? Tigran and I were really busy travelling to parks and meeting new people this summer.

Wheeler Gorge (Los Padres National Forest) 
Tigran earned his Junior Ranger Badge after attending three ranger programs on bats, birds of prey, and reptiles. Tigran loved the reptiles program, especially meeting “Ninja”, an Eastern Indigo, the largest snake in North America. What an exciting day!
Santa Rosa Island (Channel Islands National Park) 
There are eight Channel Islands and Tigran is determined to visit all of them with me. During one day on the trip, Tigran and I hiked 15 miles! We also visited the Painted Cave, one of the largest and deepest sea caves in the world.
Santa Barbara Island (Channel Islands National Park) 
I helped Tigran repair a dock on the island so now it is safe for boats to land again. It was so much fun taking a dip in the water and helping with this important service project.
Ventura California State Parks 
Tigran and I joined the pier swim for the finale of their lifeguard program and learned about CPR, water safety, and marine wildlife. We even saw a bird called the snowy plover, which has cool adaptations to confuse predators and protect their nest. The cool water felt great on my fur!

Way to go Tigran! Follow Tigran's park adventures through social media on Twitter and Instagram (@jrRangerTigran). You can also follow Buddy Bison's adventures on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@NationalParkTrust). Remember to use the hashtags #BuddyBison or #WheresBuddyBisonBeen on your park travels.

In Death Valley National Park, the foreground helps tell the story. Photo courtesy of Frank Lee Ruggles Photography.

Buddy Bison’s Photography Corner: The Foreground

As we all know, one of the best ways to capture the fun times we have while exploring America's parks is through photographs. NPT's Artist Ambassador Frank Lee Ruggles, a former official photographer for the National Park Service, has taken tens of thousands of photographs in America’s parks and has oodles of expert tips to share. Here’s what Frank has to say about including the foreground in your photos:
 
"I don’t want to simply show people what a scene looked like; rather I want to take a photograph to show people how it felt to be there at that moment. Capturing some foreground in your photo allows the viewer to feel like they are in the scene, rather than just looking at a scene. To create this effect, get low – stoop low or kneel and hold your camera less than a meter from the ground."
 
Thanks Frank! During my next park outing I will get creative and capture foreground in my photos.Try this tip and email me your photos and stories to Buddy@BuddyBison.org or share them on social media using #BuddyBison or #WheresBuddyBisonBeen. 

Kid-Powered Fun Contest

How would you like to win a new bike or solar backpack? Well here’s your chance -- the National Environmental Education Foundation recently launched their new Kid-Powered Fun Contest to challenge kids to show them, via a short video (up to 30 seconds), how they use their own energy to power their fun and daily activities. Through the contest, kids will not only be encouraged to cut back on non-renewable energy resources, like gas and electricity, but also will be exposed to the health benefits of an active outdoor lifestyle. So hurry up and send photos of your active outdoor activity. The contest runs through September 17. For more information check out http://eeweek.org/contests. Now, if only they would let a bison like me enter the contest, that would be perfect!


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