Sequoia and Kings Canyon, CA
Type of Service
National Park Service
Site Leader Description #1
Brenna is a fourth year from St. Louis, MO majoring in Chemical Engineering and minoring Technology and the Environment. This is her third ASB trip, but her first time as a site leader, so she’s super excited to be leading this one with Roslyn in her final year! Outside of ASB you can find her playing clarinet in Cavalier Symphony Orchestra, hanging out with her engineering sorority, and attending every UVA home basketball game. Brenna loves reading, yoga, hiking, and generally being outdoors. She is passionate about the environment and can’t wait to climb some mountains and hug some trees with an awesome group of people!
Site Leader Description #2
Roslyn is a third year from Purcellville, VA majoring in English and Environmental Science (got book recs?) Last March she traveled to Hilton Head South Carolina with some incredible people and learned how to use big saws to help Habitat for Humanity build a house! She is excited to lead her first trip with Brenna in such an amazing environmental wonder! In her spare time (ha) Roslyn likes to read and write, hike, try out any kind of sport, and play trombone in the pit orchestra for First Year Players. She is beyond excited to experience the west coast for the first time and see so many cool rocks!
We plan to drive out of Charlottesville early in the morning on Saturday March 4th and fly out of DC (either Reagan or Dulles) and into LAX. From there we’ll rent a passenger van or two large cars and drive ~5 hours to the park to set up camp for the day, stopping for groceries along the way. Sunday will be a free day to explore the park and then Monday through Thursday/Friday we will be volunteering with park rangers in the morning through early afternoon. The rest of the afternoon and evenings are free for us to hike and explore. Saturday morning we will pack up
and leave the park super early to drive back to LA and catch our flight to DC, before driving back to Charlottesville late Saturday night to be back by Sunday morning.
There are no specific participant requirements, only an enthusiasm for exploring some awesome landscapes and an openness to helping out with whatever the park service might need! Participants should be up for spending a lot of time outdoors, but no previous camping experience is required. Just be flexible for whatever comes our way, open to trying new things, and excited to have a lot of fun!
Previous groups have done a wide variety of environmental service activities such as: tree monitoring, native plant monitoring, meadow restoration, and general park clean-up. We will know more about the nature of our service closer to the trip but whatever we end up doing will likely be mostly outdoors.
After our service work each day we will trek out into an extraordinarily beautiful landscape! There are trees over two thousand years old (including General Sherman AKA the BIGGEST TREE in the ENTIRE WORLD!!!), the slopes and peaks of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, and forest trails so green you’ll never want to stop exploring them.
Once our group comes together, we will decide which hikes and rock climbing experiences specifically we are most interested in. On clear nights we will stargaze and spot some incredible west-coast constellations!
Sequoia National Park was established by president Harrison in 1890 in order to protect and preserve the extraordinary trees that give it its name. Sequoia and Kings Canyon provide a wonderful habitat for many animals such as black bears, mule deer, bobcats, foxes, squirrels, rattlesnakes, and mountain lions. During our trip, we will encourage ourselves to consider the historical and environmental implications of our presence as it pertains to wildlife and Native American Tribes. There are 26 federal or state recognized Native American tribes in the Sierra Nevada region. Sequoia and Kings Canyon are the homeland of the Mono (Monache), Yokut, Tübatulabal, Paiute, and Western Shoshone people. We would like to acknowledge the legacy of colonialism present in our National Parks, and will discuss the history and culture of the Sequoia and Kings Canyon’s Native American tribes in our trip’s daily reflections. We ask that our participants are respectful of the fact that we will be inhabiting a space that is sacred to many people.
Geographically, the terrain of Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks include not only the massive Sequoia trees, but also many rivers, lakes, mountains, and canyons carved by ancient
rivers and glaciers. As stunning as the view is from above, there are plenty of interesting sites under the earth as well! Miles of underground caverns snake throughout the parks. Conservationists like John Muir were instrumental in campaigning for the protection of the Sequoias, but not before about a third of them were logged. The protected park began as General Grant Grove, and has been expanding ever since. The road to Sequoia, which allows visitors like us to appreciate it face-to-face, was completed in 1903, under the supervision of the only African American commissioned officer in the U.S. Army at the time, Captain Charles Young. We are lucky to benefit from the work of so many different people and experience these incredible parks for ourselves!