Melvin Moreno
Moreno: ‘Hearing everyone’s story during those fires – that was probably my favorite part in it all.’

Climate change is threatening our national parks. Preserving them will require a long-term commitment and a new generation of champions.

A program called “YouthWorks in the Parks” introduces young people – like Salt Lake City high school student Melvin Moreno – to the national parks.

Moreno: “When we visited arches, I just thought there was just that big one that everyone always goes to. But then we found out there are hundreds of them. And then we went to this secret one, which was super-cool, and I was like wow, that’s amazing!”

The program includes outdoor activities like camping, river rafting, and hiking. Moreno’s favorite part was sitting around the campfire at the end of the day, while everyone shared stories about why they joined.

Moreno: “Hearing everyone’s story during those fires – that was probably my favorite part in it all. I loved those moments.”

YouthWorks in the Parks is helping kids develop an appreciation of the National Parks, and from Moreno’s perspective, it’s working.

Moreno: “It’s a really great program that I know for a fact changes lives of many people, and I’m just really grateful and appreciative of that program. It made me realize just how important national parks are in general.”

Reporting credit: Les Vonderlin/ChavoBart Digital Media.
Image: Screen capture from National Parks Conservation Association video.

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