An innovative partnership is connecting urban youth with public lands
The National Parks Conservation Association and non-profit partners, Friends of Arches and Canyonlands Parks and Salt Lake City-based YouthWorks in collaboration with the National Park Service Southeast Utah Group parks, have joined together for YouthWorks in the Parks.
Twice a year, the program takes urban youth from Salt Lake City to one of the southeast Utah national parks, which includes Canyonlands and Arches National Parks and Hovenweep and Natural Bridges National Monuments, for a weekend to experience the majestic landscapes; explore a variety of outdoor recreational activities including camping, river rafting and hiking; learn about career opportunities on public lands and within the tourism industry; and become inspired throughout the weekend. For most of the youth, the weekend provides their first time visiting a park and camping. It is also likely their first time learning about public lands issues and being exposed to new career paths and educational opportunities.
Follow-up activities closer to home with nonprofit partners and mentors provide continued youth involvement and ways to gain a deeper understanding of the parks and speak up for them. Ultimately, the goal of YouthWorks in the Parks is to inspire the next generation of advocates to find their voice for our national parks and to pursue career paths related to protecting, managing and enjoying our public lands.