Outside the Classroom: Partners in the Parks – Zion
We discussed current problems faced by the Environmental Protection Agency and other environmental groups. It was staggering to see the prodigious impact humans have had on such isolated geography. We talked with the park’s rangers, and learned how invasive species, global climate change, hunting, and chemical toxins brought by humans can drastically change the ecosystem. The work that has to be done to keep the park healthy is daunting, and involves planting, tracking animals, and even controlled burning. The projects that we were informed about all seemed to take decades to see stable results.
Being outdoors surrounded by harsh elements that include scorching heat, frigid rainstorms, freezing nights and wild animals, I realized just how small and vulnerable we are without the luxuries our society says are basic necessities. My cell phone didn’t work…so there was no texting to find out where anyone was. I could only eat or drink as much as I could carry on my back, I could only communicate with someone within talking distance, and the bathroom was wherever you wanted it to be.
Through the week, I learned how being disconnected from technology and society can quickly create strong bonds in a group of people. All of my friends outside of the people who weren’t right in front of me didn’t matter at all. The people around me were the only ones to talk to, laugh with, and depend on. Through Partners in the Park, I gained an amazing experience, and the knowledge of how valuable Zion, and the other national parks are.