Education Programs – Concrete to Canyons, Rangers in Classrooms & Distance Learning

Funded: $152,000

“For many of our students, this program exposes them to their first experience in a national park from camping to learning how to learn from nature and respect it. It’s a gift we have so appreciated!”

– Linda Bush & Laurie Silvaggio, Teachers, Clark County School District

Educating young people about land stewardship means connecting beyond the park. It means rangers reaching into classrooms, community centers, and homes.

The parks belong to everyone, and Federal programs like Title I ensure Zion’s education initiatives reach children and students with the highest needs.

In Utah, many students in Title I schools have never had an opportunity to experience parks right in their own backyard. Zion Forever supporters who contribute towards these education initiatives fund the school buses needed to ensure 3,000+ Utah students have a chance to experience Zion for themselves.

For school children in Las Vegas, their first Zion experience might be through the award winning Concrete to Canyons program. This nearly decade-long initiative brings eager fifth-graders out of Las Vegas classrooms, and into the Zion Canyon. For many, it is their first experience in such a vast and natural landscape.

Students, teachers, and chaperones spend 3 days camping, participating in fun and educational games, and connecting with rangers.

With such foundational in-park programs, it’s important to remember that not everyone is able to come to Zion. That’s when rangers come to them.

Reaching the local tri-county area and providing connections for 40 schools across 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classrooms, Zion’s “Rangers in Classrooms” program teaches lessons focused on natural sciences like biology and geology. The program spans more than 100 classrooms across Utah. Rangers also introduce students to the “Every Kid Outdoors” campaign providing a free pass to 4th and 5th graders ensuring they and their families are able to visit the park without an entry fee.

The park’s virtual program kept classrooms connected when gathering was not safe. Having provided lessons in 3 different countries, 2021 seeks funding to provide the staff and resources needed to reach upwards of 5,000 students globally.