Type of Service
National Park Service
Site Leader Description #1
Howdy! I’m Wade. I’m a third year studying economics and computer science, and I’m from Oakton, Virginia. I went on last spring’s trip to Sequoia NP and am excited to lead this year’s trip to Zion with Jei-Ming. Before the pandemic, I enjoyed exploring and hiking in and around Charlottesville with my fellow Hoos or staying active in the gym. I also have been briefly involved with several clubs on grounds and had plans to study abroad in 2020. Nowadays in my free time, you may find me learning a new language, or social distancing with friends. Jei-Ming and I would love to have you on our trip where we hope not only to learn a lot and help out the Park Service, but also to make memories and have a blast!
Site Leader Description #2
Hey guys, I’m Jei-Ming! I am a fourth year studying economics and statistics from Springfield, VA. Last year I went to Moab so I figured why not give the western Utah national park a go! I am super stoked to take you guys to Zion National Park and see even more incredible scenes. On grounds, I am a captain for the Transfer Student Peer Advisors, a program director for Madison House’s CASH program, and a part of Fourth Year Trustees! In my free time, you can catch me trying to pick up dubs with my IM soccer team at The Park, supporting Arsenal FC through tough times, or dining at Mel’s. Along with fellow SL Wade, we want to invite you to partake in our amazing trip to Zion and to have a memorable spring break guaranteed!
We will leave friday evening to head up to NoVa and stay at either Wade or Jei-Ming’s house. Early Saturday morning, we will fly out from either Dulles or Reagan to Las Vegas. Depending on time we may spend some time in Vegas and then start the roughly two hour drive to Zion. We are going to be camping in Zion National Park for the whole week. Sunday will be a free day and then we will start service on Monday. After work everyday, we will plan to do different hikes in Zion. Depending on time, we may also head to Bryce Canyon National Park if participants would like to. We will drive super early on the last Saturday back to Las Vegas to catch a morning flight back to DC. Arriving in DC in the afternoon, we will either stay the night in NoVa again or drive straight back to Charlottesville.
Participants should be comfortable with sleeping in a tent and eager to venture out in the park. Excitement for hikes is more than welcomed. We will be cooking over a campfire but prior experience is not necessary, only the ability to learn and adapt!
We will be working with National Park Service employees throughout the week. Participants should be comfortable with getting dirty while performing low to moderate physical activity. This may include trail maintenance, manual labor, removing invasive species, etc. A flexible attitude is a plus as well as we will work with NPS with whatever they may need help with.
Before heading to Zion, we will do some sightseeing near and around the Las Vegas Strip. Zion has a bunch of amazing hiking trails within the park. We will ask our participants to help decide what recreational activities we do. Some trails include Angel’s Landing, Watchman Trail, Emerald Pools, etc. If we have an off day or extra time, we may go to Bryce Canyon National Park, nearby Hurricane, or venture into town for Zion souvenirs and merch. Get ready for incredible scenes as we will want to see as many sunrises and sunsets as possible. Also a must do is stargazing throughout the night. Depending on how service goes each day, we will get input from everyone on what we would like to do as a group. Finally, we will be partaking in card games, setting campfires, and crushing countless smores to end our nights. We want this to be fun for everyone so all suggestions are welcomed!
Located in southwestern Utah, Zion National Park covers 229 square miles and saw around 4.5 million visitors in 2019, making it the third busiest national park. Founded in 1919, the park was also the first of its kind in the state. It is home to a diverse mix of plants, animals, and geography, including over 400 different animal species such as the spotted owl, the condor, the bighorn sheep, and the desert tortoise. The area has also been inhabited by humans for around 8,000 years by groups ranging from the Puebloan and Fremont cultures to Mormon pioneers.
Due to its high popularity and historical and biological significance, the Park Service is kept busy with work maintaining facilities and trails as well as with conservation and preservation efforts.