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July 2016 News
Get Involved
Countdown to the National Park Service Centennial!
Left: This week, Hoda Kotb from the Today Show selects Buddy Bison and Buddy Bison's Yellowstone Adventure as two of her favorite things. Right: Buddy Bison is ready to celebrate the centennial!

We are 1 month away from the biggest birthday celebration ever – the 100th birthday of the National Park Service is August 25!

How can you get involved? NPS will celebrate their centennial with fee free days and events at national parks across the country. Discover how the parks near you will celebrate here. Plus Big Buddy Bison will be making appearances at special events at Fort McHenry National Monument (MD), Richmond National Battlefield Park (VA), Petroglyph National Monument (NM), Valley Forge National Historical Park (PA), and Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site (KS).

Did you know that in honor of this historic birthday, our Buddy Bison School Program and Kids to Parks Day National School Contest were selected as NPS Centennial Challenge Projects? NPS is matching every dollar that we raise up to $450,000. As a result, this past school year alone, we connected more than 15,000 kids from Title 1 schools with national, state, and local parks. We worked with their teachers to plan their park trips and provided bus funding and other program fees. Plus we have more plans to support additional schools this fall. Do you want to help us by providing resources that will be matched by NPS? To learn more contact Rebecca Hansell at rebecca@parktrust.org.

And have a slice of birthday cake at a park on August 25th in honor of the National Park Service!
Buddy Bison and Buddy Bison's Yellowstone Adventure, Two of Hoda's Favorite Things
Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford from the Today Show's Kathie Lee and Hoda.

Did you see that Hoda Kotb from the Today Show's Kathie Lee and Hoda featured Buddy Bison and his first book, Buddy Bison's Yellowstone Adventure (published by National Geographic), as two of her favorite things? We could not agree more -- they are two of our favorite things too! Watch here.

NPT Receives Explore Fund Grants from The North Face
Beacon Heights Elementary 4th graders (MD).

Last month, The North Face (TNF) selected 45 nonprofits to receive their 2016 Explore Fund Grants. NPT was awarded two grants to benefit our national Buddy Bison School Program. Both of these grants will be used throughout the 2016-2017 school year.

In partnership with the Outdoors Alliance for Kids (OAK), the first grant will be used to kick off the second year of President Obama’s Every Kid in a Park initiative in Washington, D.C., New York City, Chicago, Boston, and San Francisco. Fourth graders from Title 1 schools in these cities will participate in marquee events with TNF, NPT, and OAK and be welcomed into the Buddy Bison School Program.

“The Outdoors Alliance for Kids is answering President Obama’s call to action to get every kid in a park,” said Jackie Ostfeld, co-founder and chair of OAK. “We’re honored and thankful that The North Face has made such an important investment to ensure more and more children are able to have a park experience.”

The second grant will be used to engage children from grades K through 8th residing in homeless shelters in New York City. Dare2BNYC, a non-profit that works to break the cycle of poverty and improve homelessness, will once again work closely with NPT to provide access to parks for these youth. For these students, the Buddy Bison program will emphasize not only outdoor recreation and education, but also career opportunities that support our national parks and public lands.

Ann Krcik, senior director of Outdoor Exploration at The North Face, said, “We are proud to support these outstanding programs that expose participants to the beauty and joy of the outdoors. Through these Explore Fund grants, we are building a community of outdoor explorers and inspiring people to love and protect the places where we play.”

A Record-Breaking Kids to Parks Day!

2016 KIDS TO PARKS DAY THANK YOU
Thanks to your outstanding support, 2016 was a record-breaking year for Kids to Parks Day! More than 730,000 people participated in Kids to Parks Day events from coast to coast. Plus 4,000 kids in 74 schools benefited from our Kids to Parks Day School Contest. Elected officials got involved as well: 420 mayors and 23 governors proclaimed the day, and a Senate resolution was passed.

Watch our Kids to Parks Day summary video, and save the date, KTP Day 2017 is May 20th!
Kids to Parks Day Student Ambassador at Mary McLeod Bethune Birthday Celebration
Ranger Nate Johnson, Aida Frey, and Buddy Bison are joined by local students.

Earlier this month NPT's Kids to Parks Day Student Ambassador, Aida Frey, participated in the 141st anniversary of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune's birthday event at Lincoln Park in D.C. The celebration also included Junior Ranger activities and a parade followed by a special program with guest speaker Robert Stanton, former director of the National Park Service.

“I had so much fun at the Mary McLeod Bethune event,” said Aida. “I enjoyed very much the opportunity to meet and speak with younger kids about the national parks and the junior ranger program. I really felt a lot of enthusiasm from these kids!”

Aida also talked with the rangers about the park’s future plans adding, “People from around the world come and see our National Parks to learn about our country. We must protect our national treasures to preserve them for future generations.”

There's Still Time: Celebrate Park and Recreation Month!

Before you get ready for the centennial celebration of the National Park Service on August 25th, there's still time this month to explore and enjoy your local park and community center during Park and Recreation Month, organized by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). This year, NRPA, one of our wonderful Kids to Parks Day partners, is challenging everyone to discover their super powers. To learn more and get involved, check out their website for resources including local events — then grab Buddy Bison and a friend – and get out and go!​


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