My family and I spent the day at the Chickasaw National Recreation Area in southern Oklahoma. We are only an hour and a half from this beautiful and unique park that we explored and enjoyed for FREE. We visited natural springs and waterfalls, spent time learning about native wildlife in the stunning visitor's center (I'm talking building that stretches across a creek with a wall of floor to ceiling windows for enjoying the view) and played in the cold, spring-fed creek (prefect for a hot summers day). But not every child has an opportunity to visit such amazing places. But for $5, the price of a Starbucks latte, you can be part of a grassroots movement and help children have a park experience who wouldn’t otherwise have one.
The National Park Trust recently learned that their youth programs were selected as a National Park Service Centennial Challenge Project in honor of the 2016 National Park Service Centennial year. The National Park Service selected NPT for a one-to-one match of $450,000 that will result in a total of $900,000 specifically designated for the expansion of their school programs (Buddy Bison Environmental Education Program and Kids to Parks Day National School Contest). As we approach the new school year, NPT is asking for our help to raise resources for the Buddy Bison School Program.
The Centennial Challenge will allow NPT to be able to work with up to 60 Title 1 schools to provide multiple park experiences — at least one to a national park unit — throughout the school year, plus classroom toolkits full of resources and so much more! $10 provides bus transportation for one child for one park trip. There are more than 400 national park units across the country!
A $5 donation to NPT will become $10, and that is enough to get one child out to a park unit. Please donate to NPT’s Centennial Challenge. National Park Trust is the nation's only non-profit dedicated to supporting America's parks through both land acquisition and preservation and youth education programs and initiatives that connect children with their local, state and national parks. I am thrilled to help spread the word about their Centennial Challenge and hope you'll join me in supporting them.