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RISMEDIA, May 20, 2011—As a nation we have a special day to take our children to work. Now, with the help of National Park Trust (NPT), children will be treated to a weekend experience -National Kids to Parks Day (NK2PD) on May 21—a nationwide park play-in to promote healthy lifestyles and foster an appreciation for America’s magnificent national, state and local parks.

This inaugural event has captured the imagination of communities across the country in support of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Outside Initiative. Close to 200 Mayors have signed official proclamations supporting the day, thousands of families have pledged online to participate, and many high profile partners have endorsed the event.

“Kids need at least 60 minutes of active and vigorous play each day to stay healthy, and one of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to meet this goal is by playing outside. Regular exercise in nature also improves children’s physical and mental health. We are excited to kick off the summer with National Kids to Parks Day by encouraging families to play outdoors and take advantage of the great resources in their communities. We hope playing outside becomes a habit for families across the nation,” says Robin Schepper, Executive Director of Let’s Move!

Buddy Bison, the woolly mascot and driving force behind NPT’s popular educational program, Where’s Buddy Bison Been? ® encourages children to “Explore outdoors, the parks are yours!” In honor of May 21 National Kids to Parks Day, the Buddy Bison web site includes an area where kids can pledge to visit a park and provides a slew of resources for outdoor, healthy living and park activities.

“As summer starts, we hope National Kids to Parks Day will be a fun day for families to unplug, get active and explore parks close to home,” says Grace Lee, executive director, National Park Trust. “Our nation’s parks are our shared treasures and we hope Kids to Parks Day will be a national day of play, reminding the young and young at heart how important our parks are to all Americans.”

500 Washington, D.C.-area students will kick-off the event at the Washington Monument, Friday, May 20. Park rangers, educators, environmental leaders and educators will lead children in activities designed to promote physical fitness and environmental conservation. National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis will address students.

For more information, visit www.parktrust.org.