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GBF Partners with National Park Trust for Kids to Parks Day

Posted By: Jud Ashman

March 20, 2016

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The Gaithersburg Book Festival is joining forces with the National Park Trust to celebrate Kids to Parks Day on Saturday, May 21, 2016. During the 7th annual Festival, the National Park Trust will bring author Dr. Ilona Holland and mascot Buddy Bison to Griffith Park on the grounds of Gaithersburg City Hall to encourage children to discover science, history, nature and adventure in their own neighborhood parks and in national parks across the country.

“We are delighted to work with the Gaithersburg Book Festival to celebrate Kids to Parks Day. Griffith Park is the perfect backdrop for this fun-filled community event where we can engage early readers and their families with our wonderful local, state and national parks,” said Grace Lee, executive director of National Park Trust.“

Dr. Holland will tell the story of “Buddy Bison’s Yellowstone Adventure,” and invite the audience to participate in a performance that is full of animal facts and information about our engaging with parks. Dr. Holland is a formative evaluator of educational technology-based programs including television shows like “Martha Speaks,” “Between the Lions,” “Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?” and “Wild Kratts,” and was an advisor for the Emmy Award-winning “Word Girl” on PBS. In addition, she was a contributor in writing Delaware’s K-12 Educational Standards for both social studies and the arts. Most recently, she retired from her position as a lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she taught for 14 years. Currently, she is spending most of her time visiting elementary schools and writing for children. “Buddy Bison’s Yellowstone Adventure” is her first children’s book.

National Geographic and National Park Trust worked together to publish this book because there are very few, if any, books on national parks for early readers. “National Geographic is delighted to make America’s National Parks relevant and appealing to our youngest readers through fun, visually stunning books filled with weird, but true, facts,” said Erica Green, vice president and editorial director of National Geographic Kids books. “We hope parents and kids can enjoy learning about and creating memories in National Parks together this Kids to Parks Day.”

Families will have an opportunity to win a pint-sized Buddy Bison at the author presentation, or buy one to clip to your backpack at the National Park Trust booth. Bring your own copy of “Buddy Bison’s Yellowstone Adventure” and have it signed by the author. The book also will be available for purchase onsite at the Politics & Prose tent.

In honor of the Centennial of the National Park Service, rangers from one of our local national parks, the C & O Canal National Historical Park, will co-host a booth with National Park Trust. There will be an old lock horn and hands-on activities to teach students about the historic significance of the canal and the local native wildlife found along it.

“Gaithersburg is a community that is rich with public parks, which we hope fosters a love of the outdoors and learning about the environment,” said Gaithersburg Mayor Jud Ashman, who is also founder of the Gaithersburg Book Festival. “We are honored to partner with National Park Trust this year to showcase their work with Kids to Parks Day and promote the fantastic parks found in the Washington, D.C., area, as well as the majestic sites, like Yellowstone, across our country.”

Kids to Parks Day is a nationwide celebration of outdoor play, which supports President Obama’s Every Kid in a Park initiative and First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign. Kids to Parks Day also supports the year-long celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the National Park Service.

The Gaithersburg Book Festival takes place Saturday, May 21, 2016, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the grounds of City Hall (31 S. Summit Ave., Gaithersburg, MD 20877). For a complete list of children’s and young adult authors, as well as up-to-date details about all the activities and workshops hosted in the Children’s Village, visit the GBF website.


About National Park Trust

National Park Trust is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to the preservation and protection of our nation’s critical parks and engaging our youth – especially those that are under-served – with our parks and the outdoors. Through the Buddy Bison School Program and Kids to Parks Day, a national grassroots movement celebrated annually on the third Saturday in May (this year on May 21st), NPT is building a greater awareness of and appreciation for the importance of our nation’s parks. NPT’s Buddy Bison School Program and Kids to Parks Day National School Contest were selected in 2015 by the National Park Service as a Centennial Challenge Project. NPT’s mission is preserving parks today and creating park stewards for tomorrow ( To see park events in your community and to access free resources, visit


About the Gaithersburg Book Festival

The Gaithersburg Book Festival is an annual all-day celebration of books, writers and literary excellence. Now in its seventh year, the Festival has become one of the premier literary events in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. The Festival is scheduled for Saturday, May 21, 2016, on the grounds of Gaithersburg City Hall, in Olde Towne Gaithersburg, Md. Activities include author appearances, discussions and book signings; writing workshops; a Children’s Village; onsite sales of new and used books; literary exhibitors and food, drink, ice cream and more. FREE admission and shuttle from Shady Grove Metro and Lakeforest Mall. The Gaithersburg Book Festival also hosts additional author events in Montgomery County throughout the year as a way to encourage continued appreciation for all things literary. For more information please visit or follow on Twitter @GburgBookFest.


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The Gaithersburg Book Festival is one of the nation's premier literary events, featuring talks and signings by some of the world's top authors, writing workshops, children's activities and performances, literary exhibitors, book sales, music, food, and fun for everyone!
Starts: 05/21/2016 10:00
Duration: 6 hours:
Gaithersburg City Hall, 31 S. Summit Avenue
Gaithersburg, MD
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