Trail Talk: Behind the scenes with Grand Teton National Park’s Youth Conservation Program – Week 1

The 2018 Youth Conservation Program is officially underway! This summer marks the thirteenth year of this impactful program that employs teens on Grand Teton’s trail crew for ten weeks. On Monday, fifteen participants started their journey to a greater understanding of how to build trails, preserve historic sites, and what it means to manage and care for a national park. These teens came from Wyoming, Colorado, Texas, North Carolina, and California to spend their summer working and learning in Grand Teton National Park.

YCP crew members practice their navigation skills on the Hermitage Point trail.

This year’s group jumped right into their project list, ticking off a few important tasks in their first week. After a day of training in Moose at the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center, the crew cleared a half mile of avalanche debris in Granite Canyon, moved 12,000 pounds of material for the Jenny Lake Renewal Project, and cleaned drains on the nine-mile Hermitage Point trail near Colter Bay.

YCP moves materials to be used on new trails at Jenny Lake.

The crew is enjoying getting to know each other and are already demonstrating great teamwork and enthusiasm for the park and the work that lies ahead. If the remaining weeks are anything like this first one, YCP is going accomplish a lot this season!

The first week of the season ended with ice cream and the opportunity to meet some Foundation staff members and supporters.

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