• View from Sourdough Mountain Overlook  A view looking down onto Diablo Lake. Photo Credit: NPS/Michael Silverman, 2010.

    North Cascades

    National Park Washington

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  • Diablo Lake To Be Drawn Down Three Feet in Early Oct., Trailer-Launched Boats Affected

    Diablo Lake will be drawn down 3 vertical feet for facility repairs from October 1-15. During the drawdown, boats with trailers will not be able to launch or take boats off the water. Hand-launched vessels will still be able to launch. More »

  • Cascade River Road will be open as normal through fall/winter 2014

    Cascade River Rd. will be open in 2014 until snow conditions make it impassable to vehicles, as normal. The road closure that was planned to begin September 8 has been postponed beyond 2014 due to unforeseen circumstances. More »

  • Lone Mountain Fire - National Park Service Trail Closures

    The Lone Mountain Fire in North Cascades National Park is approximately 5 mi NW of Stehekin in the Boulder Creek drainage. Boulder Creek Trail is closed. More »

Pathways for Youth

Click to launch video on YouTube
Benjamin Drummond and Sara Joy Steele, bdsjs.com

To view this in alternate formats, as well as other youth films, please visit our Video webpage.

At North Cascades National Park Complex, we are developing the next generation of public land stewards and NPS employees. By deliberately connecting existing programs and partnerships, North Cascades is creating a continuum of meaningful park-based experiences, a pathway to stewardship.

With nearly 400 units in urban and natural areas across the country, the NPS is well-positioned to experiment with different models of youth engagement. Pathways for Youth is not a formal program nor a revolutionary approach. Instead, it is an agreement and shared commitment between park supervisors, employees, hiring officials, and partner organizations. It is a unified effort to connect youth with their public lands and shared heritage.

What is a Pathway?
A pathway is a sequence of experiences, each building on the last and offering deeper connection to one’s national parks. Though each step is unique, they can be organized into three broad categories:

1) Educational programs introduce students (elementary through high school) to national parks through fun, curriculum-based approaches. In many instances, this is the youth’s first exposure to nature and outdoor recreation.

2) Internships offer real-world work experience and are often supplemented by a stipend and/or school credit. Interns are high school or college students and work for an entire summer season. They gain employment skills and experiences that then make them qualified for future NPS jobs.

3) Employment at a national park is available through seasonal and permanent positions (10,650 and 1,000, respectively, in 2010). In these paid positions, students have a higher level of engagement and responsibility in fulfilling park operations.

Pathways are encouraged through evidence that repeat experiences in parks create a sense of stewardship. There is no one “right” route or time line for traveling a pathway.

At its essence, Pathways for Youth aims to create a constituency of engaged citizens, no matter their profession. If a student spends two weeks canoeing at North Cascades, returns the following summer as a GS-3 campground ranger, and then goes on to become a business owner, teacher, or parent later in life—reflecting fondly on that national park experience and sharing that sense of stewardship with others, then Pathways for Youth will be a success.

For more information, contact:
Charles Beall, Chief of Interpretation and Education
Charles_Beall@nps.gov, 360-854-7302

Michael Brondi, Volunteer Coordinator
Michael_Brondi@nps.gov, 360-854-7275

Did You Know?

Cascading stream

The North Cascades are well known for the abundant waterfalls that lace the mountains. Two of the best known waterfalls are Gorge Falls between Newhalem and Diablo along State Route 20 and Rainbow Falls in the Stehekin Valley.