Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Dates: March 21st – March 29th
Group Size: 2 leaders, 8 participants
The Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona is a world heritage site and one of the most iconic national parks in the United States - it hosted nearly 6 million visitors last year alone! The Grand Canyon National Park is, not surprisingly, home to the amazing Grand Canyon - a 1 mile deep, 277 mile long gorge that has been forming for millions of years due to geological activity and erosion from the Colorado River. Though this may seem like just a tourist site, this area has been home to various groups and communities for many years; the oldest human artifacts that have been found date back nearly 12,000 years. We will be partnering with the National Parks Service this year to work on projects at the Grand Canyon National Park to preserve and protect the park's natural and cultural resources while learning more about this unique community.
The Grand Canyon is home to 7 major ecosystems, as well as many rare, endangered, and threatened species of plants and animals. Maintaining this area of refuge for the various plants and animals is an important issue, as is preserving the many years of geological and human history that is present in this park. Increased visitation and decreased funding in recent years has threatened the vitality and longevity of this park. This park is a part of the Vanishing Treasures Program to more actively work towards preserving and conserving the treasures that this park is made of.
The use of controlled wildfires is one way that the National Parks Service works to protect the various fragile ecosystems. One potential project to help with this involves working with park rangers and the their wildland fire crew to remove debris and trees to prepare various archaeological sites for future prescribed burns. In addition to working projects, there may be opportunities to tour the park’s museum collections, meet the Grand Canyon National Park’s deputy superintendent, and participate in daily education sessions each day to learn more about wildland fire, the National Park Service, and to see the bigger picture of how our service fits in with the park. Additionally, there will be many opportunities to learn about the vast and varied history of this amazing park.