Donations Making a Difference
The Zion National Park Forever Project is thrilled to announce the successful funding of more than 20 park projects and initiatives across our three project areas: Improving Today, Informing Tomorrow, and Protecting Forever. These projects demonstrate the powerful impact that donor dollars have on the park experience, from the moment visitors reach the gates to the classrooms and continuing education opportunities around the world.
One of the key projects that we are excited to highlight is the longstanding education program Concrete-to-Canyons. This program brings students from Title 1 schools in Las Vegas and Mesquite, Nevada to Zion National Park for their first park experience. The program includes talks with rangers, learning about the park, and basic camping skills, such as how to set up camp
The iconic Junior Ranger Program is also supported by donor dollars, which help fund the books, badges, and experiences of thousands of Junior Rangers each season.
Another vital education initiative is the Rangers in the Classroom program. Because of your donations, Zion rangers continue to visit classrooms throughout Washington County, as well as provide distance learning opportunities that bring rangers virtually to classrooms around the world.
Beyond elementary and middle school classrooms, donor dollars have also sustained Zion’s involvement in the long-standing IIC internship program, run through Southern Utah University. This program places college students in valuable internships to work alongside park rangers in various positions, from data science to park and resource management. Almost half of IIC students seek a career in public lands after completing the program.
Your support has also funded various research initiatives, including studying the habits and relationships of predators and prey, such as bighorn sheep, mule deer, and mountain lions. This research helps the park better manage the wildlife and ensure all populations remain healthy. Donor fundig also facilitated a study to sequence Ringtail DNA to better manage the nocturnal mammals that sometimes inhabit park buildings. Because of you park scientists completed new research into Zion’s unique bat population, helping to understand where bats winter and providing insight into issues such as white-nose syndrome.
Your support went beyond Zion to fund additional initiatives at Cedar Breaks and Pipe Spring. At Cedar Breaks, new solar panels were installed for the administrative offices, and a new permanent ranger contact station on the north end of the monument will be built to serve visitors throughout the season. At Pipe Spring, two young longhorns were added to the living exhibits, helping to tell the story of the west as we approach the monument’s centennial celebration later this year.
Finally, we want to remind our supporters that the next Field Guide will be released this spring, featuring an all-new set of projects and ways for park lovers to get involved. We are incredibly grateful for the support of our donors, who make it possible for us to continue our mission of caring for our parks and making a difference, now and forever.