WASHINGTON, May 4, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Children, families and schools in communities across America will celebrate their local, state and national parks and public lands on Saturday, May 21st in commemoration of the 6th Annual Kids to Parks Day. National Park Trust estimates more than 600,000 people will attend park events across the country in what is fast becoming America's national day of park celebration.
"This year's Kids to Parks Day takes on special significance as the country prepares to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service," said Grace Lee, executive director, National Park Trust. "Kids love birthdays and they love parks, so we hope to encourage as many families and kids as possible to get outdoors for what has become a national day of play and park appreciation."
kidstoparks.org lists park events by state and city, and features helpful downloadable tips and activity guides to help children, families and teachers plan park adventures.
Kids to Parks Day national supporters include the National Park Service, First Solar, BabyBjörn, Guest Services, Boy Scouts of America, National Association of Realtors, M&T Bank, CamelBak, and Falcon Guides.
National Park Trust's Kids to Parks Day also supports the First Lady's Let's Move! initiative, the President's Every Kid in a Park movement, and the National Park Service's Find Your Park program. National collaborators include: America's State Parks, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Hiking Society, American Recreation Coalition, Children & Nature Network, City Parks Alliance, Eastern National, National Environmental Education Foundation, National Geographic Kids, National League of Cities, National Park Conservation Association, National Recreation and Park Association, National Wildlife Federation, Outdoors Alliance for Kids, Sierra Club, U.S Department of the Interior, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and US Play Coalition.
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!" Eighty schools in 18 states and Washington, D.C. have participated in the Buddy Bison School Program, which provides classroom resources, lesson ideas and fully funded park trips that enhance and expand school curricula.
In 2012, NPT launched the Kids to Parks Day National School Contest. This year, NPT awarded grants to 74 schools in 27 states and Washington, D.C. benefiting more than 4,000 children, grades pre-K through 12 in Title 1 schools. The grants will help students put their ideas into action and learn, steward, and play in their local, state and national parks and public lands this month.
Families can pledge to participate at kidstoparks.org. When they visit a park on May 21st, kids and parents are encouraged to tweet #kidstoparks and #BuddyBison or send in photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. Pictures will be posted and shared online.
Last week the U.S. Senate passed a resolution in support of Kids to Parks Day introduced by Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., Cory Booker, D-N.J., Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., and Mazie K. Hirono, D-Hawaii.
National Park Trust is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to the preservation and protection of our nation's critical parks and public lands and the engagement of our youth – especially those who are under-served – with nature.
Join the conversation: @natparktrust #kidstoparks #BuddyBison
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SOURCE National Park Trust