Trail Talk: A Window into Grand Teton National Park’s Youth Conservation Program – Week 1
The Youth Conservation Program (YCP) is more than a summer job; it’s an action-packed educational opportunity that accomplishes much needed work in Grand Teton. In the beginning of June, a group of teens traveled from across the country to Jackson to work, earn, and learn in this ten week program. The 2014 YCP crew hit the trails last week and started their impactful work in the park.
The group began the week by working at the historic Menor’s Ferry site on the Snake River near Moose. Menor’s Ferry shuttled homesteaders and dude ranchers across the river and supplied necessary goods and mail to local residents. It was the single way to cross the Snake River until 1927 when the state of Wyoming built a bridge crossing the river. The original ferry and general store are still there today. The YCP crew cleaned and prepared the ferry for the busy tourist season.
The team also completed drainage work on seven miles of trail to alleviate erosion during spring runoff and summer rain showers. After a long winter with a deep snowpack in the mountains, this work is vital to the trails in Grand Teton.
The YCP crew finished their first week by participating in a focus group led by park interpretive rangers and exhibit designers. The group explored various ways to engage young people with interpretive material. As part of GTNPF’s Jenny Lake restoration, the visitor area at South Jenny Lake will receive a major face lift and a new visitor plaza. The YCP team’s input will help create educational displays at Jenny Lake.
Huge thanks to our YCP students on their first week! We are excited about the work they have done thus far, and look forward to see all that they accomplish this summer. Follow our blog for weekly Trail Talk updates to stay informed with the team and their challenging work and incredible adventures in Grand Teton.