Program Overview

In honor of the 11th annual Kids to Parks Day, celebrated on May 15th this year, National Park Trust is pleased to once again offer our Kids to Parks Day School Grants Program (formally the Kids to Parks Day National School Contest). This year, in light of COVID-19 circumstances, this grant will ONLY support distance learning park experiences. Funding can be used towards virtual park program fees, materials for hands-on activities, stewardship supplies, and any other materials needed for a robust at-home or in-school park-related learning experience.

This opportunity is designed to be student-driven and student-teacher collaboration is a must. All applications must include a park-themed educational component and a stewardship element. The educational component must focus on at least one of the following three themes: 1) environmental science/education, 2) history/civics, or 3) wellness through outdoor recreation.
Specifics & Requirements
This grant is open to all U.S. states and territories. Participating students must be from Title I schools (40% of students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch) in grades PreK through 12. Teachers will submit the application on behalf of their class, but student involvement in the process is required. One entry should be submitted per class/group of students. More than one entry form can be submitted per school, if each entry benefits unique students (e.g. multiple classes in one grade level).

Deadline: Applications must be submitted by February 26, 2021 by 11:59 pm HST.

Before you begin the application, make sure your request meets the following requirements:
  1. Each application should include a distance-learning park-themed educational component that focuses on at least one of the following three themes: 1) environmental science/education, 2) history/civics, or 3) wellness through outdoor recreation. NOTE: We will not fund in-park programming or buses this year. CLICK HERE for examples.
  2. Each application should also include a park stewardship element. This can be an activity or an educational lesson. CLICK HERE for examples.
  3. Experiences should take place and all funding should be used by June 30th, 2021.
  4. Winners agree to submit the following to the Park Trust (through Cybergrants) after their experience:
    • 1 or more paragraphs summarizing and reflecting on the experience, and preferably at least one from a student and one from the lead teacher. One summary per entry is required, but more are welcomed.
    • Teachers are required to complete a brief online survey.
    • Additonally, send at least 5 high-resolution digital photos from your experience if you are able. Photos should include your students learning, enjoying, and experiencing your lesson or program. Photos of students using any items purchased is encouraged. Please include little Buddy Bison in the pictures as well!
Grantees Will Receive
The Kids to Parks Day School Grants Program will award up to $500 per approved application for distance learning park experiences.

Each awarded group of students will also receive an official Kids to Parks Day certificate and one plush Buddy Bison, National Park Trust's woolly mascot.

Selection and Notification Process
Criteria for this grant program has been established by the National Park Trust. Based on a review and selection process, grant recipients will be announced on March 12, 2021.
Program Timeline
February 26, 2021 - Deadline for online application
March 12, 2021 - Grant notifications sent to applicants
April – June 2021 - Park distance learning experiences occur
June 30, 2021 - All collateral due to the Park Trust
Send any questions regarding this program to Emily Edgar at

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Click HERE to preview the application.