Grand Teton welcomed a record 4.97 million visitors in 2017—an increase of 21% over a six-year period. This unprecedented trend has placed additional pressure on park resources and popular destinations. The Foundation funds innovative volunteer programs that augment the park’s ability to overcome challenges and provide people with safe and enjoyable experiences. These dedicated teams are an invaluable addition to Grand Teton that advance resource protection and education while having a tremendous impact on the millions of people who visit each year.
Tasked with facilitating safe interactions between visitors and animals, Grand Teton’s Wildlife Brigade members are part ambassadors, part compliance officers. This team manages roadside wildlife jams, patrols picnic areas for unsecured food, and shares educational information with visitors.
Snake River Ambassadors
Record-breaking visitation and the Wild and Scenic designation of the Snake River have increased recreational use, causing more boating accidents. Snake River Ambassadors educate boaters about the potential hazards and necessary skills to successfully navigate the river in Grand Teton National Park. By interacting with people at access points before they launch their boats, volunteers help increase safety and improve the river experience for park visitors.
There are over 700 historical structures in Grand Teton and many of them are in need of preservation work due to years of vacancy and exposure to the harsh local climate. Hammer Corps volunteers help restore some of the park’s most significant cultural treasures to ensure they remain standing for visitors to enjoy well into the future.
String Lake has become one of the most popular destinations in Grand Teton, which has created a variety of management challenges in the area. The String Lake Volunteer Team (aka String Lakers) provides on-the-ground support to NPS staff to help minimize human-wildlife conflicts, parking issues, and other resource impacts.
As visitation to Grand Teton National Park continues to rise, these volunteer teams will play a critical role in protecting the park and its resources for the long-term. Interested in volunteering? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit here to apply today—applications accepted January through March.