The Foundation-funded Pura Vida (PV) program in Grand Teton National Park started in 2010 as a means to address the lack of engagement of local Latino youth and their families in the park. The goal was to reduce barriers of park visitation by encouraging Latino youth to act as leaders among peers and family members by engaging the demographic in leadership development, stewardship, and outdoor recreation. As a graduate student at the University of Wyoming, Teddi Hofmann, a former Teton Science Schools field instructor for PV, decided to focus her research on the efficacy and impact of this program.
From her experience with PV, Teddi became aware of some of the barriers that this population faced when seeking to recreate in the park. These included lack of transportation and an absent sense of belonging. However, she saw that participants enjoyed spending time in the park, and wanted to further understand the impact that this program had on its participants. Specifically, she was interested in looking at the factors that influenced participants’ engagement in Grand Teton National Park.
As the method for her research, Teddi formulated surveys and conducted interviews with the participants. Based on her research, Teddi found that participants benefitted from their participation in Pura Vida including enhanced positive environmental behavior and increased engagement in the outdoors.
This research is a wonderful step in learning more about the impacts of the Foundation’s youth programs. We’re so excited to be able to share Teddi’s findings, and we hope that more research can be completed to better understand the need for programs such as PV in our national parks.
Click here to read more of Teddi’s study and learn about the Pura Vida program and her research.
Congratulations Teddi on your research! And thank you for being such a wonderful friend of the Foundation!