Thanks to Zion National Park’s official nonprofit partner, the Zion Forever Project, 24 high-priority projects will be addressed this year, as stated in the Zion Forever Project’s 2019 Field Guide, thanks to a historic investment of $1.5 million.
In a press release by the Zion Forever Project, they stated that the nonprofit has demonstrated the importance that comes from leveraging resources both public and private to help protect Zion National Park as well as the surrounding landscape for future generations.
The donations came from every part of the country including those who supported the park at its park stores as well as working through the Working Partners gateway business, family foundations, and other major donations and gifts.
Zion National Park Superintendent Jeff Bradybaugh stated in the press release, “In light of Zion’s centennial this year, it’s important to recognize that the future health and well-being of our parks depends on strong partnership and collaboration. The efforts and community outreach undertaken by the Zion Forever Project and its community of supporters is setting a new standard for Zion, Pipe Spring and Cedar Breaks National Monuments, now and for the future.”
Funding that the Zion Forever Project received for 2019 will be extended across their Mission at Work, its three strategic initiatives that they are focussed on: protect park resources, improve visitor experiences and invest in the next generation of park stewards through education.
During 2018 Zion National Park was the fourth most visited park in the United States, surpassing Yellowstone and Yosemite.
“It is truly heartening to see how deeply people care about Zion National Park. The Forever Project has provided a meaningful way for everyone to make a difference for Zion this year – weather it’s one dollar or a hundred thousand dollars. What has been accomplished goes a long way to getting Zion ready for its next 100 years,” stated Zion National Forever executive director Lyman Hafen.
During the 2019 year, the Zion Forever Project plans of using it’s funds in the following areas:
A total of nine projects will be worked on this year to help preserve the natural and cultural resources of the greater Zion landscape. Those projects will total $274,000.
Projects will include:
- Safeguarding the Zion desert bighorn sheep through monitoring and tracking their migration routes, their habitat within the park and on adjacent public lands, as well as investigating the lamb survival rate with the help of GPS collars that were funded by the Forever Project last year.
- Imparting the wisdom from the Kaibab Paiute Dark-Sky Nation through capturing traditional star stories and legends of the Southern Paiutes. The project will include a never before published Southern Paiute constellation map and planispheres which will help share the Kaibab Paiute stories and perspectives with visitors.
A total of $855,000 will be put towards reconstructing the Middle Emerald Pools Trail as well as helping create a greater visitor experience in Zion National Park and its surrounding areas.
Projects approved include:
- Reopening the Middle Emerald Pools trail. Reconstruction will be going on to the trail complex helping repair and reroute the Middle and Lower Emerald Pool Trails as well as reopen a closed historic section of the trail to help disburse hikers along the trail.
- Develop a new visitor education and visitor center at Cedar Breaks.
- Design and build a new high-tech toilet facility for Scout Lookout to help replace the current 20 year old station. The new facilities to be built will help ensure public health as well as environmental protection.
A total of 8 projects were approved which aim to help build up a community focused on stewardship for Zion and its surrounding areas. The 8 projects total $547,000.
Projects approved include:
- Taking the Zion experience to every Title 1 school in counties surrounding Zion National Park including Kane, Iron and Washington County via classroom park ranger visits as well as transportation scholarships available for thousands of students each year.
- Continuing the Junior Ranger Program in Zion National Park, Cedar Breaks and Pipe Spring, which is estimated to certify 40,000 Junior Rangers each year.
- Creation of the My First Zion Experience through the Concrete to Canyons initiative, which would provide transformational opportunities to underserved students and teachers from Las Vegas Nevada to Salt Lake City Utah.
A complete copy of the 2019 Field Guide Projects can be found here.
For more information on Zion Forever Project, click here.