Zion Life Blog Post

Our trip had the opportunity to serve with the National Park Service in Zion National Park. For many of us, it was our first time there, and we were blown away by the breathtaking views as we drove into the park. We quickly found our campsite, and after some (many) struggles with setting up our tents, we settled down and made Zion our home for the next week. During our trip, we learned more about the importance of preserving the natural beauty of the park, respecting its past, and consciously thinking about its future. Our first day, we cleaned up trash around the campgrounds. It's amazing how the little things we think are no big deal add up—from the small corners of granola bar wrappers, to bottle caps, to sunflower seeds. These pieces of litter, while often seemingly inconsequential to us, really affect the wildlife, and can signal to other visitors to the park that littering in the park is okay. The next couple of days, we helped remove invasive species of plants from the park's nursery, so that the rangers in charge can more effectively grow native species to better collect seed to repopulate throughout the park. The work was challenging, but in the end so worth it as we saw the entire nursery transformed. We were also fortunate enough to be able to collect data on the park to better help their Visitor and Use Management Plan. We hiked various trails, like Angels Landing, Observation Point, and the Kayenta Trail to do trail counts of the amounts of people on them. On our last day of service, we helped with handicap accessibility on the Riverside Walk Trail and the Pa'rus Trail, by removing debris and sweeping off sand. Later, we were in a focus group to help out with an upcoming PSA about leaving no trace when on trails. In all, this trip was an amazing time— the rangers were so welcoming and friendly, the scenery was breathtaking, and we were able to get in lots of quality time to serve.



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