Kids to Parks Day School Contest

Kid’s free fishing event image: USFWS photo by Larry Jernigan via the Every Kid in a Park media kit
Kid’s free fishing event
image: USFWS photo by Larry Jernigan via the Every Kid in a Park media kit

The National Park Trust Announces an Expanded Kids to Parks Day School Contest

May 21, 2016 is National Kids to Parks Day and to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, now 100 schools will win grants!

This national contest—open to all under-served public, public charter, and private schools across the U.S.—aims to empower students to create and plan their own park experience by inviting them to submit proposals for a Kids to Parks (KTP) event at a park in their community. With help from the National Park Service Centennial Challenge fund and other support, the National Park Trust (NPT) is looking to award 100 schools with park scholarships of up to $1,000. Schools should implement their KTP event during May 2016, but exceptions will be made to accommodate school schedules. This contest also supports the President’s Every Kid in a Park initiative to get every 4th grader to a park this school year! The deadline for entries is Friday, March 4. Winners will be announced Friday, March 25 on the NPT website.

If you know a teacher or school that wants to get Kids to Parks, please share this information with them today. Volunteer to help them with their event by talking to students about landscape architecture and how we design great parks like the one they are visiting. This is a great way to interact with future landscape architects and expand understanding of our profession! Don’t forget to post on social media using #KidsinParks, #Landarch, and #NPS100 to show your support and broaden our reach.

Children walking on a wooded path image: USFWS photo by Steve Hillebrand via the Every Kid in a Park media kit
Children walking on a wooded path
image: USFWS photo by Steve Hillebrand via the Every Kid in a Park media kit

How to enter the Kids to Parks Day School Contest:

  1. Download the entry form as a Word document or PDF.
  2. Students must complete the two-page entry form.
  3. Email or mail the proposal to:

    Billy Schrack –
    National Park Trust
    401 E. Jefferson Street
    Suite 203
    Rockville, MD 20850

If you have any questions please call 301-279-7275 x11. Please note: more than one class can apply per school. All proposals must be postmarked or emailed by March 4, 2016.

Contest details:

  • Students must select a park near their school, and research the park to find out what outdoor recreation activities, educational, and park stewardship opportunities exist.
  • One entry form can be submitted per class; more than one entry form can be submitted per school.
  • NPT wants to hear from the students, so help them develop their ideas, but allow them to complete the proposal in their own words.
    • If the students are unable to complete the proposal for any reason, please contact William Schrack at NPT (301-279-7275 x11)
  • Be creative: video entries, artwork, and photos are encouraged as part of the entry!
  • Cover letters from teachers are also encouraged, but not required.

Contest winners will receive:

  • Funding for one park experience including school bus transportation, park-related fees, supplies for a park stewardship project, or anything else students feel would enhance their educational parks experience.
  • Official award certificate and KTP stickers for students.
  • A classroom Buddy Bison, NPT’s pint-sized woolly mascot, to take on your park adventure.
  • A opportunity to have a student-written article about the experience featured on NPT’s website, in their e-newsletter, or in Buddy Bison’s Buzz.

For more information:

National Park Trust
Our mission is to preserve parks today and create park stewards for tomorrow. Since 1983, we have completed more than 100 park projects in 33 states. Furthermore, to foster future park enthusiasts and stewards, we created our Buddy Bison School Program and Kids to Parks Day, our nationwide day of play.

This video summarizes NPT’s accomplishments so far.

National Park Foundation: Every Kid in a Park
Every Kid in a Park is a new and exciting White House youth initiative to get all 4th graders and their families to experience the places that are home to our country’s natural treasures, rich history, and vibrant culture FREE OF CHARGE! You can get your Every Kid in a Park pass at, the official website where parents, educators, and kids can learn more.

National Park Service: Find Your Park
In celebration of the 100th birthday of the National Park Service, NPS launched a movement to spread the word about the amazing national parks, the stories these places inspire and our diverse cultural heritage. Find Your Park is about more than just national parks! It’s about state parks, local parks, trails, museums, historic sites, and the many ways that the American public can connect with history and culture, enjoy nature, and make new discoveries.

The Children & Nature Network
The Children & Nature Network is leading the movement to connect all children, their families and communities to nature through innovative ideas, evidence-based resources and tools, broad-based collaboration and support of grassroots leadership.

Kids in Parks
Kids in Parks began through a need to get families unplugged and get them outdoors. Together with our partners, KIP promotes children’s health and the health of our parks.

by Jennifer Nitzky, PLA, ASLA, ISA, and Amanda Bayley, ASLA, Co-Chairs of the Parks and Recreation PPN

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