January 9, 2012
WEST GLACIER, MONT. - Avalanche Basin, one of Glacier National Park's unique and most treasured areas, is highlighted in a series of new audio podcasts accessible on the park's website, http://www.nps.gov/glac under photos and multimedia.
The park's Crown of the Continent Research Learning Center worked with graduate students from the University of Montana, and the Glacier National Park Fund to create short essays on various aspects of the Avalanche Lake area. The students learned the art of 'nature writing' through an environmental writing class offered in the Environmental Studies Program at the university. As volunteers for the park, they explored the Avalanche Basin, researched a specific topic, and wrote natural and cultural history essays.
These essays were turned into six podcasts and are featured on the park's website. Each podcast has a different focus, such as geology or wildlife, while providing an insight to the feelings this place evokes for all those fortunate enough to experience it.
Avalanche Basin is situated near the head of Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park and is part of the larger glacially-carved McDonald Valley. The highlight of the basin is Avalanche Lake and its outlet stream Avalanche Creek. Water draining from the basin's steep slopes cumulates in the rushing icy blue waters of Avalanche Creek and scours through layers of rock to create the sculpted red walls of Avalanche Gorge. Beginning at the Trail of the Cedars, the Avalanche Lake Trail is a popular hike in the park that accesses the Avalanche Basin.
The Crown of the Continent Research Learning Center is one of 19 centers across the country serving National Park Service units. It was established in 2002 to help facilitate the use of parks for scientific inquiry, support science-informed decision making, communicate the relevance of and provide access to knowledge through scientific research, and promote science literacy and resource stewardship through partnerships.
Learn more about the natural and cultural history of the Avalanche Basin by visiting http://www.nps.gov/glac/photosmultimedia/avalanche-basin-podcasts.htm.
The project was supported with funding from the Glacier National Park Fund. The Fund is the official non-profit fund raising partner for the Park. Since 1999, the Fund has distributed over $3 million for projects devoted to wildlife, natural resource conservation, park preservation, educational programs and visitor experience. Visit http://glaciernationalparkfund.org for more information about the Fund.