Ticket to Ride

How We Help

One of the greatest barriers preventing our youth from experiencing the national parks around them is transportation. The goal of the Ticket to Ride program is to provide efficient transportation support for over 100,000 students to visit our national parks annually. Once in the parks, a world of learning begins as young people discover their natural, cultural and historical heritage, participate in volunteer and service-learning activities, enjoy recreational opportunities and most importantly, begin a lifelong relationship with their national parks.

Join us. Support Ticket To Ride and other National Park Foundation programs

TICKET TO RIDE VIDEOS

Success Story

  • At Chamizal National Memorial located in El Paso Texas, the Ticket to Ride program allowed over 3,400 disadvantaged students to visit and learn about the memorial.

    Chamizal is one of the largest open...

Ticket to Ride Photos

Ticket To Ride Grantees

Amistad National Recreation Area
The natural, cultural and historic settings at Amistad National Recreation Area and Seminole Canyon State Park & Historic Site can inspire motivated learning for first-time students visitors. Students will experience one of three programs: the role of raptors and the importance of conservation efforts; the lifeways of the prehistoric people of the Lower Pecos; or hike on the Sunrise Trail to focus on local geologic processes, adaptations of plants and animals and Leave No Trace ethics.
Appomattox Court House National Historical Park
History Passport is a free program designed to get southern central Virginia students out to explore regional historic sites. A field trip experience to the park allows students the opportunity to explore the original buildings, walk the trails to the Confederate Cemetery, Lee's headquarters, and Grant's headquarters.
Big Bend National Park
Good Neighbor Day Fiesta is an event that embodies our commitment to our communities. The event will provide all local area schools an opportunity to share, to learn, and to participate in a celebration of identity and place. The event will offer thematic educational programs, walks and talks, and celebrate the arts, music, and dance with recreational events. The goal is to celebrate our commonality and broaden our reach of understanding.
Biscayne National Park
For 1,500 students from Title I Miami-Dade County Public Schools, who would otherwise miss out due to bus transportation costs, this grant will provide a "Ticket to Ride" to Biscayne National Park to participate in outdoor innovative resource immersion programs. Students will experience scientist-based and hands-on activities such as canoe water quality examinations, mangrove explorations, shoreline seagrass snorkels, and the already wildly popular lionfish dissection program.
Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area
Youth from area schools will visit the park and ride the Big South Fork Scenic Railway into the park. National Park Service Interpreters will guide them on a history walk around the Blue Heron Mining Community and on nature walks along the Big South Fork River. The entire visit will be outdoors including an open air train ride.
Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area
The Crow and Northern Cheyenne Reservations are experiencing nearly 80% unemployment. While the Bighorn Canyon is a large part of their own histories, few tribal youth ever get into the canyon to experience the park because they do not have the means to access it by boat, which is the only way visitors can access nearly 90% of our park. The Ticket to Ride funds will not only assist schools with travel to the canyon, but also boat rides through Bighorn Canyon.
Blue Ridge Parkway
The park will engage rural schools to enhance the classroom instruction by immersing students in the natural and cultural treasures found along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Students will experience simple machines and bartering at Visiting Mabry Mill, dance and build instruments at the Blue Ridge Music Center, and hike along a trail to learn about communities and their ecosystems.
Brown V Board of Education National Historic Site
Students will rediscover Freedom's Pathway in Topeka, Kansas by experiencing the Underground Railroad at the historic Ritchie House, learn about Bleeding Kansas and the legislative process in the Kansas Capitol, and explore how segregation in America was demolished at Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site in an all day field trip to the three sites. Students will experience the rich history of Kansas from territorial conflicts over slavery to the beginning of the civil rights movement with Brown v. Board of Education.
Buck Island Reef National Monument
The entire group of 5th graders in the public school district and about 100 private school students will visit Christiansted National Historic Site via land and learn about the Danish West India Guinea Company. They will then travel by boat to Buck Island Reef National Monument and hike around the island to the observation deck to discuss the relationship between terrestrial and reef ecosystems. Students will also get a chance to swim!
Cape Lookout National Seashore
This grant will bring every fourth grader in Carteret County to Cape Lookout National Seashore to participate in a curriculum-based education program centered on the Cape Lookout Lighthouse. This project will allow teachers to incorporate the Lighthouse into teaching and students will recognize the significance of the lighthouse to North Carolina and use the Cape Lookout Lighthouse to make real world connections with the history of North Carolina.
Chaco Culture National Historical Park
The park is expanding its outreach program to bring San Juan County students out to Chaco Culture National Historical Park. Fourth and fifth grade students from two school districts and youth participating in week-long summer camps will visit the park for an immersive experience. Children will explore the canyon's natural features and learn about the Chacoan culture.
Channel Islands National Park
The park will connect middle school students from a Title 1 school to real science experiences in a national park setting to complement and enhance their STEAM learning. Students will gain an in-depth understanding of science and resource management work and be able to conduct science and service learning projects in the park. They will also become Junior Rangers through project participation.
Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area
Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area will connect third grade Title I students with the park - through programming in the classroom and with a field studies experience. Curriculum-based programming by NPS staff and partners will be provided to help these students understand more about the value of the Chattahoochee River Watershed, help them feel more comfortable in the outdoors, and instill in them a sense of resource stewardship.
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park
This grant will bring students from Allegany County and Montgomery County, Maryland to the park who have not visited the park before. The project will facilitate student-driven discovery and learning along the 184.5 miles of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park.
Colorado National Monument
Although Colorado National Monument lies only a few miles from the cities of Fruita and Grand Junction, many students in the local communities never get the opportunity to visit the park. Nearly 2,000 students from Title I schools will visit the park to engage in meaningful, hands-on educational opportunities to study the park's geologic wonders and ecological processes.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
The park will enhance and expand the existing day programs offered out of the newly renovated Canal Exploration Center. Programs center on the Ohio & Erie Canal, teaching children about the historic value and impact of one of the country's busiest canal systems during the 19th century. Students will get to visit and help operate an actual working canal lock, hike the Towpath Trail, as well as enjoy new interpretive programming and exhibits at the newly designed center.
Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and the Pocono Environmental Education Center will deliver its popular Over the River and Thru the Woods outdoor education program to 500 elementary school students who are first-time visitors. This program introduces students to the numerous resources and activities of the park and how they and their families can access and continue to participate in and enjoy them throughout the year.
Devils Postpile National Monument
Staff from this national park and their partners will travel with 20-30 Paiute youth from their high desert home to Channel Islands National Park, comprised of five islands off the coast of southern California. Here they will discover a national park new to each of them. They will learn about native plants, and specifically how those plants were/are used by the Chumash people. This project will also integrate multigenerational learning by engaging tribal elders, parents, grandparents, and other family members.
Devils Tower National Monument
This project will bring Lakota youth from Ateyapi, a Lakota youth mentoring program in Rapid City, South Dakota, to the park. Lakota elders will provide cultural content such as the emergence story of the Lakota, wellness and how the Lakota way of life offers all of the instructions necessary to live a good life. Other demonstrations will include Lakota star knowledge, the assembly of a Tipi, the cultural importance of a buffalo robe, tanning, and various hunting techniques.
Eisenhower National Historic Site
Students from the School District of the City of York in Pennsylvania will visit the Eisenhower National Historic Site to learn about General and President Eisenhower's life and work through hands-on field study and role-playing. The Ticket to Ride grant will allow the students to leave the city and experience the Eisenhower farm environment while learning about a great American leader.
Everglades National Park
Elementary students will get to unplug from their urban lives, enjoy the outdoors, and learn curriculum lessons through real-world experiences. They will experience the fresh air and serenity of the Everglades and its sounds such as wading bird calls, pig frog grunts, and alligator bellows.
Fort Larned National Historic Site
Students will participate in outdoor exploration of the fort parade grounds and nature trail. Many of the activities revolve around everyday life at Fort Larned, from saddling a horse (haystack) to trying square dancing. Tours of the authentic sandstone buildings will be led by park rangers who will share compelling tales of the active fort from 1859 - 1878.
Fort Scott National Historic Site
This grant will help Fort Scott NHS build partnerships with three different schools with the goal to provide these students with meaningful connections to Fort Scott and other Kansas national parks over the course of the next year.
Gateway National Recreation Area
Gateway National Recreation Area will teach NY and NJ teachers and students to work with scientists to collect data, analyze data, and then engage in civic action based on the data. This will empower students and also increase the resiliency and ecological health of the park.
Glacier National Park
This grant will bring a new group of students to participate in the park's native plant restoration program, the Citizen Science program, or an education ranger-led hike with the Discover Glacier program.
Golden Gate National Recreation Area
This project will increase the number of Bay Area youth served by the ranger-led Community Group Programs of the Golden Gate National Parks -- from nature walks to cultural history campfires. Specifically targeting youth who have had limited previous access to our national parks, these programs are culturally-relevant and are designed to strengthen ties between the community and our parks.
Grand Canyon National Park
The park's Environmental Education program brings students to the Grand Canyon and engages them in this amazing outdoor classroom so that they can personally experience one of the world's natural wonders. The goal of the program is to develop in our youth life-long relationships with America's magnificent places, and encourage the next generation of park stewards.
Grand Teton National Park
This project will connect American Indian young people to Grand Teton National Park. The youth will learn about fire's role in the ecosystem, fire's role in Native American culture, and they will investigate public perceptions of fire.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Several school systems surround Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the North Carolina and Tennessee side. A majority of the teachers and students who live so close to the park have never made a visit to the park. This funding will provide bus transportation for these students to visit the park on a curriculum-based field trip. They will learn hands-on about the natural and cultural resources of the park.
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park will bring economically disadvantaged students from the surrounding area to participate in a ranger-led program that covers one of the park's six diverse themes: John Brown, Civil War, African American history, industry, transportation, and natural heritage. Through these programs, students are given the opportunity to hike, perform historical military drills, and conduct environmentally-conscious scientific experiments while promoting park stewardship.
Homestead National Monument of America
In partnership with Beatrice Middle School, Homestead National Monument of America will enhance the current water quality monitoring program the 8th graders participate in, and develop eight new Science Wednesday events for students. They will be able to get into the creek to collect water samples and measurements, conduct chemical analysis, and review their monitoring results.
Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site
Bridging Heritage Between Time will allow Pueblo students to experience Hubbell Trading Post NHS through ranger visits and actual on-site learning opportunities. The program will allow the Pueblo students to reconnect with the lifeway that their ancestors once experienced with Mr. John Lorenzo Hubbell and continue that same tradition of trade and farming with today's Trading Post environment.
Independence National Historical Park
The Independence and Liberty program will allow the park to offer field trips for nearly 1,400 students from schools across Philadelphia. Using first source documents, students will be able to investigate the lives of colonial Americans, including African Americans, who changed the course of history by demonstrating courage and perseverance in the quest for "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
Jean Lafitte National Historic Park & Preserve
Jean Laffite National Historical Park and Preserve will commemorate the bicentennial of the Battle of New Orleans, the last major battle of the War of 1812, beginning in January 2015. Field trips to bicentennial events will let these students discover the battle's human story and learn how it is relevant to their own lives.
Jimmy Carter National Historic Site
Spread Your Wings is a program designed to use the outdoors as an alternative classroom, connecting youth to nature and to former First Lady Rosalynn Carter's life. The program will engage youth in exploring natural and cultural history surrounding the Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Trail in and around Plains, Georgia. They will also compare the life cycle of a butterfly to Mrs. Carter's childhood growing up in rural community during the Great Depression and "morphing" into the First Lady of the United States in her adulthood.
Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
Nearly seven hundred Paulding County fifth grade students will visit Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park. The park will be their outdoor classroom as they hike in the footsteps of soldiers who fought a key battle in the American Civil War and see the trails later built by the Civilian Conservation Corps.
Lincoln Home National Historic Site
The Spirit of Lincoln Youth Leadership Academy presents the Civil War to Civil Rights stories, emphasizing those who had dreams of and struggled for freedom. 50 young people will learn even more about these stories by visiting five national parks and a national historic landmark in Illinois and Missouri.
Lava Beds National Monument
As part of a geology field day, students will view and walk through a lava flow, look into the three vents at Fleener Chimneys, walk the rim of Mammoth Crater, and experience the dark depths of a lava tube cave. Students will also receive a geology activity book/journal that they will work on throughout the day and will review with their teachers following the field trip.
Little River Canyon National Preserve
This program will bring students to the park to explore Little River Canyon and its special habitats, history, archeology, and geology using park resources as outdoor classrooms. Outdoor activities account for many of the programs including American Indian atlatls, chunkey games and stickball activities, chestnut tree restoration, and citizen science.
Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site
Students will participate in new curriculum developed by Fargo (ND) School District in honor of Judge Ronald Davies, the federal district judge who enforced the Little Rock School District Desegregation Order that opened the doors of Central High for the Little Rock Nine and those who followed in their footsteps. The students will experience the history of school desegregation and civil rights through a walking tour of the Central High School National Historic Neighborhood culminating with Central High School itself.
Lyndon B Johnson National Historical Park
President Lyndon Johnson loved the Texas Hill Country. He had a deep attachment to the land and his family's frontier history which he desired to share with others. As a former school teacher, he also knew the importance of education. Farm and Ranch Days & Frontier Life Days will combine these ideas by bringing 4th and 5th graders to the park to learn about the President and their choice of either ranching and agriculture or Texas frontier life.
Manassas National Battlefield Park
This program will bring students to Manassas National Battlefield Park for an outdoor field investigation of the water resources in one of the park's creeks, Young's Branch. The students will be engaged as they become scientists and explore the chemistry of Young's Branch Creek and examine the living organisms within the creek. They will return to their schools with a better understanding and appreciation for the park, the natural resources, and the science that tells us how we evaluate water resources.
Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site
The Ticket to Possibility program reveals stories about the tremendous accomplishments of national heroes, despite the presence of serious challenges. More importantly, the program will emphasize how Dr. Bethune, Dr. Woodson, and other contemporaries found success by inviting students into their home.
Mississippi National River and Recreation Area
The Mississippi National River and Recreation Area provides a variety of education programs that allow urban youth to grow up having a relationship with their local national park and the outdoors. With activities that range from river boat trips and canoeing, to geocaching and skipping rocks, students from the Twin Cities will experience this urban park in their backyard!
Moores Creek National Battlefield
High school students will be provided service-learning opportunities to explore history through writing and developing a play for the local community about the Battle of Moores Creek Bridge. The culmination of this program will be a field day at the park where all of the local 8th grade classes will visit the park and travel back into colonial America, present their play, and participate in the Living History demonstrations.
National Mall
In honor of the 75th anniversary of Marian Anderson's Lincoln Memorial concert, park rangers will bring area students to National Mall and Memorial Parks to celebrate this historic event. A park visit will reinforce this significant civil rights story, while providing urban youth the opportunity to experience the National Mall. NPS staff will work with music teachers to offer classes the chance to perform at National Mall and Memorial Parks as Marian Anderson did.
National Park of American Samoa
Most of the Samoan students throughout the American Samoa islands have never visited their local national park. This program will provide opportunities for local schools to bring students to the national park for a ranger-led field trip.
Nicodemus National Historic Site
This project will engage students in the history of Nicodemus by getting them out of the classroom and outdoors to see the route the original settlers traveled. Students will gain a better understanding of the different modes of transportation the settlers would have used in crossing the prairie and they'll also get to experience what the life of a settler was like.
North Cascades National Park
This project will enable over 180 gateway community youth in three different programs to visit North Cascades National Park multiple times and partake in celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act. The programs will focus on wilderness, stewardship, and leadership.
Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail
This year, Overmountain Victory Trail Association celebrates their 40th Annual March. In the past ten years, over 100,000 Americans, primarily elementary and middle school students, have learned "the story" of the Overmountain Men and their victory at the Battle at Kings Mountain. This project will continue to bring students out to this unique experience.
Ozark National Scenic Riverways
Ozark National Scenic Riverways will partner with the area school systems and other environmental organizations to provide hands-on and fun educational and recreational programs that will immerse new and economically disadvantaged audiences in the Ozark resources. During the exciting Junior Ranger Stewardship Day, youth will explore, learn, experience, see, touch, and immerse themselves in the environment around them through hands-on activities. They will build understanding, resource connections, relevance, and park stewardship.
Point Reyes National Seashore
Woodnutt Express, named for Representative Clement Woodnutt Miller who authored the legislation to establish Point Reyes National Seashore, will bring underserved San Francisco Bay Area youth to the Clem Miller Environmental Education Center so that they can attend residential natural history, environmental, and wilderness education programs.
Redwood National Park
The park, in partnership with the Bilingual McKinleyville Ecoclub, will bring 200 students from Eureka to the park for a healthy picnic and day of fun outdoor activities. The Ecoclub members will use the planning and implementation of this project as a way to gain valuable outdoor leadership skills while also documenting each of the four event days via photographs and videos.
Tonto National Monument
Have you ever walked into a 700 year old house? Fourth grade students from Payson, Arizona will have the opportunity to visit the ancient Salado cliff dwellings at Tonto National Monument. The Salado utilized the abundant natural resources of the Sonoran desert and and created beautiful pottery and textiles. This in-park experience will make a tremendous difference in meeting the educational goals of these children who study Arizona history and Native American cultures.
War In The Pacific National Historical Park
This project will allow students at Astumbo Middle School the opportunity to experience their local national park for the first time. They will meet park rangers who will engage them in the "power of place" by taking them to the WWII battlefields and sharing the compelling stories of those who endured this war. Through this experience, students and teachers will be inspired to be the next generation of caretakers of the park and its resources.
Yellowstone National Park
Approximately 300 students will travel to Yellowstone to participate in either a curriculum-based residential education program or a ranger-led Yellowstone Field Trip program. Students, teachers, and chaperones will have the opportunity to hike and explore the park to learn about the natural and cultural resources of Yellowstone and investigate current issues affecting the greater Yellowstone ecosystem. Welcoming Native American youth to the lands their ancestors walked upon will also serve to strengthen relationships between Yellowstone and its associated tribes.
Yosemite National Park
This project is part of Yosemite's A Class Act: Adopt the Class of 2016 program, which is immersing students from four gateway community schools in park experiences focused on the anniversary of the National Park Service. This project will bring students to the park for hiking, exploring, stewardship projects, and learning about the park through science and liberal arts.
Zion National Park
This project will bring over 700 diverse students to Zion National Park to experience its outdoor classroom and create lifelong memories. They will use direct observation and inquiry to explore geologic processes or the importance and diversity of microorganisms.
Lowell National Historical Park
Lowell's industrial past -- from great technological achievements to the horrors of pollution -- serves as a novel classroom, providing a strong platform on which to build successful environmental programs. This grant will bring underserved students from Nashua, New Hampshire to the park for an exciting learning experience. During the River as a Classroom program, students will travel by boat on the Merrimack to collect water samples, test them for various elements, and analyze the data.
River Raisin National Battlefield Park
The Ticket-to-Float: Youth Outdoor Kayak Explorer Program will connect 800 disadvantaged Metro-Detroit region youth and an additional 200 adult youth guardians to fun outdoor water recreation as they kayak through history and the great outdoors. Youth will experience America's natural and cultural resources located within their community and learn to appreciate and become stewards of the resources.