In a move to get today's younger generations more involved in the outdoors, the National Park Trust is sponsoring a contest for kids to explain how best they can explore the outdoors and enjoy parks.
The contest is part of the National Kids to Parks Day, a nation-wide day of outdoor play organized by the Trust along with a host of partners, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, National Education Association, Children's National Medical Center, Boy Scouts of America, Department of the Interior Youth in the Great Outdoors, Children & Nature Network, America's State Parks and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers among others.
More than 15,000 families in nearly 200 towns and cities explored parks in their community in 2011 and the Trust expects that number to grow exponentially as the grassroots initiative gains momentum.
This year's Kids to Parks Day will be Saturday May 19, 2012, the week before the official start of Summer.
"We want to encourage children across the country to explore their neighborhood parks and discover the history, nature and adventure right around the corner or just across town. The Summer season is the time to be outdoors and have fun," said Grace Lee, the Trust's executive director.
As part of the celebration, the Trust is sponsoring a national classroom contest designed to inspire children to create their own KTP Day event. The theme of this year's contest is "Explore outdoors, the parks are yours!", which is the motto of the Trust's wooly mascot, Buddy Bison. Students across the country and in U.S. territories can submit proposals that exemplify this theme at a park in their community.
The Trust will award scholarships in the amount of $250, $500 or $1000 to winning entries. Deadline for entries is Thursday, March 1st. Winners will be announced Monday, March 19th.
The national contest is open to all schools across the country and in U.S. territories. Awards will be used to implement KTP events during the week leading up to National Kids to Parks Day on May 19th.