Final reflections from our first AmeriCorps VISTA

Image Credit: Claire Cutler.

My year with Great Basin National Park Foundation flew by more quickly than I could have ever expected! As my AmeriCorps term comes to an end, I am proud of what I have accomplished, experienced, and learned. 

There are many moments of my term, both personally and professionally, that I look back on very fondly. My favorite days of work were the three days when I led field trips in Great Basin National Park for students at David E Norman Elementary School. It was engaging and rewarding to show the students Lehman Caves, swear them in as Junior Rangers, and give them Every Kid in a Park passes so that they can continue to explore national parks with their families. 

I loved the solitude that living in the Park offered in the winter, often allowing me to run or snowshoe without encountering any other people. I was new to living in such an extreme winter environment (particularly given that 2022/23 was the snowiest winter the Park has experienced in many years), and it was exciting to experience the joys and challenges that the winter presented. I can confidently include winter driving and long road trips in the list of skills that I acquired this year!

I am excited to serve another AmeriCorps term with Stewards Individual Placements in the coming year. In my next position with the Continental Divide Trail Coalition, I am eager to learn about conservation as a means for community economic development. I am also excited to serve communities in Colorado, where I recently moved to, but Great Basin National Park will always hold a special place in my heart.