Grand Canyon, AZ


Site Leaders

Molly Gonenne

Emily Porter

Type of Service


Site Partner(s)

National Parks Service



Departure Date


Return Date






Site Leader Description #1

Molly is a 3rd year Arts & Sciences student majoring in Psychology (zoo-wee-mama!). Outside of classes, she is involved in volunteering and eno-ing around Grounds. Molly is from Oregon, so you could say she’s not like the other girls. When she’s not eating/working at Asado’s, Molly loves to be one with nature. Since coming to UVA, Molly has learned not to streak the lawn in the rain, how to ride two Lime scooters at once, and how to tetris 50 granola bar boxes into the trunk of a car. In the Spring of 2020, she attended an ASB trip to Biscayne, FL doing beach cleanup and invasive species removal. She has also been to Moab, UT with the UVA Outdoors Club. Molly’s favorite color is transparent because that’s the color of air. Her music taste has been described as “sad and slow”, but on a good day you will also hear some pretty upbeat Lumineers as well. Molly’s spirit animal would be Dobby from Harry Potter, (yes she even had a Harry Potter themed birthday party). Molly was eight when she ate her first glowstick.

Site Leader Description #2

Emily is a 3rd year at UVA studying Chinese and Media Studies (wowza). Having been described by friends as “a chaotic good,” you could say Emily is like other girls. With three and a half stars on Yelp, her Intro to Media Studies professor has noted she is a “solid B-”, and, despite popular belief, her mom would describe her as the favorite. When she’s not writing pieces for Cav Daily, and anonymous bits for The New York Times, you can find her sleeping in Clark, New Cabell, the Lawn, or occasionally on a bus. Emily would describe her favorite time period as the 1930s, and her music taste as laid back with a hint of “You Belong with Me.” An adventurous and caring soul, she has gone on not one, but two!, past ASB trips, including Nashville, Tennessee and Zion, Utah, in which she worked environmental projects such as invasive species removal and trail maintenance. Weaknesses include: not knowing how to set up a tent (see site leader #1) and first sampling a glowstick when she was four. Strengths: suuper modest, will give you the aux, and knows the Bikini Bottom National Anthem by heart.


Trip Logistics

We plan to fly out of DC, Richmond, or Charlottesville (depending on flight pricing) and into Flagstaff, Arizona on Saturday morning. We will take Molly’s and one participant’s cars to the airport and pay to park them there over the week. Once in Flagstaff, we will rent a van or two cars for the group and drive ~1.5 hours to the Canyon. At the Grand Canyon we will be staying in the labor cabins. The cabin on the right is the kitchen and the cabin in the back right is the laundry/shower/bath. The housing has heat/air, full bathrooms, a full kitchen (stocked with all cookware that you may need) and enough beds for everyone.

Participant Requirements

Participants should be physically active and enthusiastic! Our service activities will be outside and likely include a lot of walking/hiking and other physical activity such as moving logs and sticks or lifting tools.

Service Activities

We will be partnering with the National Park Service in Science and Resource Management’s Vegetation Program, doing work with vegetation inventory, seed, cutting, and plant collection, transplanting, watering nursery plants, plant identification, and invasive plant species removal.

Recreational Activities

Potential recreational activities include hiking (i.e. Trail of Time, Bright Angel Trail), horseback or mule riding, exploring the Visitor’s Center, checking out the Tusayan Ruins and Museum, renting bikes, visiting the Grand Canyon skywalk, stargazing, and immersing in the Native American culture in the area. We can decide which activities we want to do as a group before our trip.

Community/Area Background

The Grand Canyon became a national park in 1919 and receives 5 million visitors per year. The park is home to many archaeological projects that have uncovered artifacts from the park’s 11 associated tribes and ethnic groups. The park continues to strive for conservation and preservation of its historic sites.