Sustaining Award-Winning “Concrete to Canyons”

Funded: $60,000

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


Las Vegas is located just three hours southwest of Zion, but for some school children, it is a world away. The Concrete to Canyons Program, lasting three full days, provides 178 Title I students and chaperones from across Nevada to experience Zion firsthand. They work to complete Jr. Ranger books, learn to set up tents, identify plants and animals, and hear from National Park Rangers what it’s like to live and work among the magnificent sandstone towers of Zion.

The project moved forward with its expansion goals from last year and was able to lead classes in Dinosaur National Monument. The enhanced program gave more than 140 students and 20 parents and community chaperones the opportunity to participate in the multi-day course.

“This program offers students and their families a full education on how to get ready for a trip into a National Park,” said Coordinator Ranger Andrea Buttram. “We teach them basics like packing water, but also go much further and talk about how to interact with the land and treat it in a respectful way. The students are not the only ones who benefit. Participating educators, parents, and rangers also gain new perspectives from this amazing opportunity and recognize it can be life changing.”

In 2019, Concrete to Canyons was able to provide follow-up service days at Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Nevada. Zion and Lake Mead Rangers joined forces with Forever Project education staff to meet with past program participants. Unified in purpose, they performed a full day of service and clean-up at the lake.

“This opportunity really offers students the chance to be reminded of and put into practice the lessons they learned earlier in the canyon,” said Ranger Buttram.

In Zion National Park, the Concrete to Canyons initiative remains critical to educating our future stewards. Educating more than 300 students this past year, the program’s staff, rangers, and Zion Forever educators remain committed to ensuring all children have access to these amazing natural wonders only made possible with your continued financial support.