New App Helps Users Discover Our Nation’s Parks, Earn Custom Badges for Outdoor Activities and Build Community While Exploring Public Lands
Washington, D.C., October 30, 2019 – The National Park Trust (NPT) today announced the launch of its free ParkPassport mobile app in partnership with Blue Star Families (BSF) to provide families across America with easier access to park experiences. This collaboration between NPT and BSF ensures that military families not only enjoy parks and create lasting family memories – but it also helps this often overlooked and diverse community feel welcomed in the outdoors, ensuring a thriving future generation of outdoor enthusiasts.
Features of the ParkPassport App include:
- Park Finder to discover nearby federal, state and local parks
- Digital Passport to collect badges for different parks and outdoor activities, including custom badges for the 61 national parks
- Photo Sharing to upload and share user park images
- Invite Friends to join and share outdoor experiences
“We are delighted to work with Blue Star Families to connect many more military families with our parks that protect cherished landscapes and preserve the stories of our country,” said Grace Lee, executive director, National Park Trust. “The ParkPassport App is a digital guide that will also help engage families with the health and educational benefits of the great outdoors.”
The ParkPassport App provides families with easy access to track their park visits and search for their nearest park, while building a community of likeminded outdoor enthusiasts. This feature will be especially useful as military families move across the country during a permanent change of station (PCS). They can find parks and family-friendly activities along the way and also near their new homes.
A 2018 Military Family Lifestyle Survey revealed that isolation from their local community remains a top challenge for military families with 48% of respondents indicating that they did not feel a sense of belonging within their new local civilian community. Parks are often one of the only constants in a military family’s life since they can be found no matter where they live, thanks to the new ParkPassport App, and are a great way to contribute to the core emotional, psychological and physical well-being of military family members.
“Families are the core of our organization. Technology such as the ParkPassport App creates opportunities for families to get outdoors and get moving to create memories wherever they are stationed,” said Kathy Roth-Douquet, CEO, Blue Star Families. “We are excited to have the National Park Trust as a partner to further encourage families to connect.”
The first 20,000 service members (and their families) to download the app will receive a FREE Buddy Bison, NPT’s pint-sized woolly mascot. ParkPassport users can tag their new travel companion with #BuddyBison and share photos of Where’s Buddy Bison Been? as he comes along for new park adventures.
National Park Trust and Blue Star Families are thrilled to work with CSX and the National Park Service on this exciting initiative.
ABOUT NATIONAL PARK TRUST
National Park Trust (NPT) is a non-profit dedicated to preserving parks today and creating park stewards for tomorrow. NPT is the only land trust with a comprehensive mission of protecting national parks through land acquisition and creating a pipeline of future park stewards by getting kids to parks. Since 1983, NPT has completed 70 land projects in 31 states, 1 US Territory, and Washington, DC. This school year, NPT provided nearly 20,000 children with park trips through their nationally recognized Buddy Bison Programs and Kids to Parks Day National School Contest, both of which support Title I schools in under-served communities. Find out more at www.parktrust.org.
ABOUT BLUE STAR FAMILIES
Blue Star Families builds communities that support military families by connecting research and data to programs and solutions, including career development tools, local community events for families, and caregiver support. With Blue Star Families, military families can find answers to their challenges anywhere they are. For more information, visit bluestarfam.org.
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