National Park Trust, Inc.

Treasure Forever

Rockville, MD   |
GuideStar Charity Check

National Park Trust, Inc.

EIN: 52-1691924


We preserve parks today and create park stewards for tomorrow. We acquire the missing pieces of our national parks, the privately owned land located within and adjacent to our national parks’ boundaries. We also bring thousands of kids from under-served communities to our parks; they are our future caretakers of these priceless resources.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Grace Lee

Main address

401 E. Jefferson Street, Suite 207

Rockville, MD 20850 USA

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Subject area info

Equal opportunity in education


Land resources

Outdoor education


Show more subject areas

Population served info

Children and youth


Military personnel

NTEE code info

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

In order to maintain the integrity of national parks, land parcels that are located inside and adjacent to park boundaries, especially those at risk for development, need to be included as part of our national park system. Acquiring these critical inholdings facilitates easier land management, completes wildlife migration corridors, and preserves wild places for future generations. They are extremely important to preserving the parks in perpetuity for all to enjoy. Additionally, while more than 330 million people visited our national parks last year, most of them were white and aging. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the “minority" will quickly become the “majority" by 2040. The disconnect between children, especially in under-served and diverse communities, and the outdoors needs to be addressed to ensure that all Americans can experience the power of parks and so there are future generations of park stewards and outdoor enthusiasts.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Kids to Parks Day National School Contest

The purpose of the contest is to help teachers engage their students with their local parks. This national contest is open to all schools across the country and in the U.S. territories. Students can submit proposals for a KTP event at a park in their community. NPT will award scholarships up to the amount of $1,000 to winning entries for each class. Scholarships will be used by the winners to implement their KTP event during the month of May.

Contest winners will receive:
Funding for one park experience including school bus transportation, healthy snacks, park related fees, or supplies
Official award certificate and KTP stickers for students
A classroom Buddy Bison, our pint-sized woolly mascot to take, on your park adventure
A featured news story on our website and e-newsletter

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

The Buddy Bison School Program, established in 2009, is a national environmental education program that engages predominantly elementary and middle school students with local, state, and national parks and other public lands and waters.

We work with public, public charter, and private schools and local and national partners including the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service to help students explore and use parks and public lands as outdoor classrooms. Students learn about 1) lessons in STEM, history and social studies, 2) the health and wellness benefits of outdoor recreation and 3) their role as our future stewards of parks and the environment.

As a non-profit environmental education program, we only provide funding for Title I schools but many schools who do not lack resources also participate and benefit from the Buddy Bison School Program. Currently, 77 Title I schools receive funding spanning 19 states and Washington, D.C.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Since 2019, we've completed land acquisition projects than during any 18-month period, adding 445 critical acres in or adjacent to 4 national parks and scenic trails in Virginia, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Texas. We also acquired key parcels of land in Fort Scott National Historic Site (KS) and Fort Washington Park (MD) that will soon be conveyed to the National Park Service.

Population(s) Served

Kids to Parks™ (KTP) Day, a national day of outdoor play organized by National Park Trust is held annually on the 3rd Saturday of May, this year on May 19th.

Over 1.1-million participants enjoy park events and programs nationwide. Mayors and town councils proclaim the day and join in the celebration and a Senate resolution is passed.

Be sure to mark your calendar for Kids to Parks Day 2020 – May 16th. And keep exploring parks, public lands, and water all year long. If you are looking for new parks to discover and enjoy, check out the park events page below. Now get out and go!

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

The initiative engages pairs of student leaders to introduce the great outdoors to their peers on campus with the goal of 1) providing equitable access to outdoor recreation opportunities for diverse student communities and 2) cultivating park and public lands stewardship through exposure to volunteer and career opportunities. Each ambassador pair is challenged to develop and implement an academic year-long strategy that engages their campus community in outdoor recreation and stewardship, focused on close-to-home park opportunities and stewardship.

Population(s) Served
Young adults

We created the Buddy Bison Creative Learning Program to accommodate schools needs during the pandemic, whatever that may be, including bringing programs into schools, connecting classes to virtual Park Ranger programs and tours, and creating custom park-themed lessons and fun activities for teachers and students to use. We have already created a series of 10 units that include hands-on and virtual activities that students can do in their classroom or at home that align with their classroom science curricula. These 10 units are based on the most popular park trips selected by our teachers and the subject matter covered, and feature a broad range of topics including fossils, watershed, parts of a plant, geomorphology, stars/planets, etc.). Each student will be provided with individual Buddy Bison toolkits for distance learning opportunities plus all of the supplies to do the activities.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

National Park Trust believes that parks and natural spaces provide ideal locations to support military community health, wellness, education, and stewardship. We have several programs designed to address this belief:

Total Fitness in Parks: A program designed to help active-duty military members and their families achieve Total Force Fitness goals while experiencing local park sites.
Buddy Bison Great Outdoor Challenge: An incentive-driven program designed to help on-base military kids and their families discover local parks and outdoor activities.
Community Outings: The Park Trust is partnering with military family-focused nonprofits to provide meaningful outdoor experiences designed to connect military families to their local communities and public lands & waters.

The Park Trust is currently working with the Department of Defense, National Park Service, TAPS, Our Military Kids, USO, and others as we expand outdoor recreation opportunities for the military community.

Population(s) Served
Military personnel

Where we work


Top-Rated 2012

Charity Watch

Top-Rated 2013

Charity Watch

“one of the best” 2013

Catalogue for Philanthropy

"One of the Best 2016

Catalogue for Philanthropy: Greater Washington

Top-Rated 2015

Charity Watch

Top-Rated 2016

Charity Watch

Top-Rated 2017

Charity Watch

Top-Rated 2018

Charity Watch

Affiliations & memberships

Land Trust Alliance 2017

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of acres of land protected

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Park Preservation

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Context Notes

Since 1983, National Park Trust has completed 80 land acquisition, restoration, and mitigation projects to protect more than 25,600 acres in 32 states, one U.S. Territory, and Washington, D.C.

Number of students educated through field trips

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

Buddy Bison School Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Context Notes

Since 2009, NPT has been working to cultivate the next generation of park stewards through our national Buddy Bison School Program.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

As National Park Trust works toward our vision, that everyone should have an American Park Experience, we keep the following strategic goals in mind:

1.) Increase our staff capacity to manage 20 land projects annually 2) Grow our operating budget and our revolving funds for land acquisition to support additional land projects 3) Grow the Buddy Bison program to 100 underserved schools and connect those schools to the Park Trust land preservation projects 4) Raise awareness of the Park Trust's unique mission of protecting parks for tomorrow.

1.Youth Programs: Help educate a groundswell of youth to use, enjoy, support and preserve the parks. Through expansion and continual improvement of its environmental education programs, the Park Trust will energize teachers, principals, other educators, medical professionals, civic leaders and government officials to inspire kids to become familiar with parks, to visit parks and to support the preservation and improvement of parks. The Park Trust will bring thousands of kids to see and love the parks, with the encouragement of Buddy Bison and Kids to Parks Day.

2.Protect and Expand the Parks: Adopt diverse park projects of critical importance around the nation; projects that can engage youth and young adults participating in the Park Trust educational efforts. The Park Trust will continue its programs to acquire and donate lands to parks, but it will also bring support to other park protection efforts, like trail restoration and historic structure preservation.

3.Grow and Sustain the Mission: Raise visibility and a significant endowment to support the accomplishment of park projects with educational involvement of youth and young adults. With help from its many supporters, the Park Trust will raise an endowment of two million dollars to support its ongoing education and park preservation programs. These funds are essential to support the creation of new Buddy Bison schools, to fund specific project grants and seed money for project-based learning initiatives relating to the Park Trust land projects, to fund scholarships, to pay for buses so Buddy can take kids from underserved schools for their first visits to a National Park, and to support the host of other parks efforts the Park Trust undertakes every day.

4.Educate the Park Conservationists of Tomorrow: the Park Trust will integrate these initiatives and efforts so that the Park Trust and its partners accomplish significant park projects in a unique way that lets youth and young adults learn to drive preservation success and become permanently committed to the Parks.

To successfully execute the Park Trust's land and education programs, we have significantly increased our infrastructure since 2009 – going from a staff of 3 to 13, adding program-specific staff to give greater support to our Buddy Bison School Program, Kids to Parks Day School Grants program as well as our Military Families Program and our Youth Fellows and College Ambassador. We have also added staff to increase our capacity to communicate about the importance of parks for environmental, social and mental health and well-being, all while keeping spending directly for programs at 87.7% in fiscal year 2021.

In addition, the Park Trust's Board of Trustees oversees the strategic growth of the organization. The Board is comprised of a geographically diverse group of professionals with expertise in environmental law, education, and land protection. With the recent transition as founder-led organization, much of the strategic decision-making has been left to the Executive Director and staff. Therefore, the Board made the decision to initiate a comprehensive five-year strategic plan to set a clear direction and path of growth for the organization. Since the coming to the end of the 5-year strategic plan, In June of 2020, the board created and approved an updated 3-year strategic plan that will carry the organization through 2023.

To date, our park preservation program has completed conservation projects benefiting 51 national park units, in all 7 NPS geographic regions in 33 states, Washington, D.C., and 1 U.S. Territory. In 2022, Buddy Bison School Program, Kids to Parks Day Grants and other education programs supported 412 schools and nonprofits getting 76,443 participants engaged with nature via 510 virtual and in-person trips.

Our single greatest challenge is capacity to accommodate the growth of our programs and create more opportunities for young people to have experiential learning experiences in nature.

We are working to secure resources to add program staff that will allow us to accommodate more schools into our program while maintaining the high level of personal commitment to each school, teachers and students. These positions are vital as we build on our success and will enable our Executive Director to focus on strategic partnerships and organizational development.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 12.92 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 5 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 13% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

National Park Trust, Inc.

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

National Park Trust, Inc.

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

National Park Trust, Inc.

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of National Park Trust, Inc.’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

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Business model indicators

Profitability info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $527,717 $13,330 $128,289 -$772,582 $1,365,990
As % of expenses 23.9% 0.7% 6.6% -29.1% 49.5%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $527,717 $13,330 $90,180 -$839,283 $1,277,626
As % of expenses 23.9% 0.7% 4.6% -30.9% 44.9%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $1,440,943 $2,668,855 $2,589,099 $2,956,887 $4,513,920
Total revenue, % change over prior year -13.0% 85.2% -3.0% 14.2% 52.7%
Program services revenue 0.2% 0.1% 9.9% 18.1% 1.5%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.9% 0.5% 0.6% 0.4% 0.8%
Government grants 3.3% 14.1% 20.1% 23.8% 23.3%
All other grants and contributions 92.1% 84.1% 68.5% 57.2% 73.7%
Other revenue 3.5% 1.1% 0.9% 0.5% 0.7%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $2,207,502 $1,960,238 $1,937,689 $2,651,839 $2,757,266
Total expenses, % change over prior year -6.3% -11.2% -1.2% 36.9% 4.0%
Personnel 30.1% 42.6% 47.8% 33.6% 37.3%
Professional fees 12.4% 11.7% 5.3% 7.5% 9.8%
Occupancy 2.8% 3.3% 3.8% 2.8% 2.9%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.2%
Pass-through 33.8% 14.6% 8.0% 30.0% 24.9%
All other expenses 21.0% 27.7% 35.2% 26.0% 25.0%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $2,207,502 $1,960,238 $1,975,798 $2,718,540 $2,845,630
One month of savings $183,959 $163,353 $161,474 $220,987 $229,772
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $126,783 $0
Fixed asset additions $0 $0 $153,415 $0 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $2,391,461 $2,123,591 $2,290,687 $3,066,310 $3,075,402

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Months of cash 1.8 1.2 2.0 5.0 4.6
Months of cash and investments 3.9 5.1 8.1 10.9 11.1
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 10.5 11.9 11.9 5.4 10.8
Balance sheet composition info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cash $327,920 $187,951 $317,431 $1,098,999 $1,060,773
Investments $394,174 $638,902 $991,194 $1,299,011 $1,481,672
Receivables $611,523 $872,178 $674,899 $338,791 $817,939
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $1,485,228 $1,485,228 $1,618,515 $1,485,227 $1,485,227
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 1.4% 1.4% 2.4% 1.4% 1.4%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 1.2% 1.0% 3.5% 12.5% 9.3%
Unrestricted net assets $3,399,599 $3,412,929 $3,503,109 $2,663,826 $3,941,452
Temporarily restricted net assets $784,650 $1,498,958 N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $39,380 $39,380 N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $824,030 $1,538,338 $2,064,455 $1,869,895 $2,147,059
Total net assets $4,223,629 $4,951,267 $5,567,564 $4,533,721 $6,088,511

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Material data errors No No No No No


The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Executive Director

Grace Lee

Grace has a life-long passion for America’s parks and the great outdoors. As a young girl, she and her family spent numerous summers camping and hiking at national and state parks while driving cross country, and she enjoyed continuing this tradition with her own family. She joined the Park Trust in 2006 and has overseen the significant expansion of the organization’s mission including a renewed focus on the purchase of important lands to expand our national park sites and the launch and rapid growth of the Park Trust’s nationally recognized youth and family programs. She has also worked to expand the board and staff providing a greater breadth of expertise and diversity leadership for the Park Trust’s programs to meet the increased challenges facing our nation’s parks and youth. Grace holds an AB degree in chemistry (biologic specialization) from Duke University, worked as an analytical chemist at the National Institutes of Health, and then as an editor for the journal Analytical

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

National Park Trust, Inc.

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

National Park Trust, Inc.

Highest paid employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of highest paid employee data for this organization

National Park Trust, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 01/19/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Scott Stone

Lookfar Conservation and Glencoe Strategies LLC

Term: 2022 - 2023

Raymond Sherbill

Lerch Early & Brewer

Charles H. Knauss

Hunton & Williams, LLP

Neal Kemkar

General Electric

Dick Ring

National Park Service/National Park Trust (Retired)

Bill Brownell

Hunton & Williams, LLP

Ann Gualtieri

DuPont (Retired)

Stephen Schuler

Bridgewater Wealth & Financial Management, LLC

Chad Dayton

Outdoor Solutions, LLC

Elizabeth Ulmer

Elizabeth Ulmer Consulting

Michael Carper

United Wireless Holdings

Regan Herald


Hellene Runtagh

Berwind Group (Retired)

Kevin Seth

Edgewood Management

Patrick Campbell

Milbank, LLC

Aparna Dave

Wells Fargo

Katie Clark

RBC Wealth Management

Meshach Rhoades

Crowell and Moring LLP

Krupa Shah


Hew Pate


Yasmin N. Best

Intel Corporation

Katie Brossy

Akin Gump, LLC

Tom Smith

American Society of Civil Engineers

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 3/15/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Asian/Asian American
Gender identity
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data


No data


Fiscal year ending

Professional fundraisers

Fiscal year ending

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 Schedule G

Solicitation activities
Gross receipts from fundraising
Retained by organization
Paid to fundraiser