Petrified Forest Honors Volunteer Accomplishments
Contact: Lyn Carranza, (928) 524-6228 ext.245
Petrified Forest National Park Honors Volunteer Accomplishments
Petrified Forest, AZ - Volunteers play an important role in assisting national parks to fulfill their mission. Many dedicated people of all ages and backgrounds give their time and expertise so everyone may enjoy America’s national parks. The volunteers at Petrified Forest National Park are no exception. Although too many to mention separately the following people are representative of the kind volunteers that help at Petrified Forest.
Volunteer Paul Cox is restoring the six foot tall wooden arrowhead plaques found at the entrances of the park and at the visitor centers. The arrowhead is the most recognizable symbol of the National Park Service. Many years of weathering have made the etched lettering and pictures less distinct. “When they first asked me I didn’t know if I could do it. I’ve never worked on anything this big.” But his woodworking experience has proven more than enough to make these plaques look like new.
Jason Theuer is working on his PhD in archeology at Southern Methodist University in Texas. He spent his summer hiking to many of the park’s archeology sites to assess their condition, monitor changes and then write reports based on his observations. Petrified Forest is an area rich in archeological remains. Monitoring them is critical for their protection, but it is an immense undertaking.
Photo by Marge Post/NPS
Volunteering is sometimes a family affair as Jin, Charles, Marie and Charlie Hewett have shown. Their daughter Marie needed to do volunteer work for a high school project and her whole family decided to join her. They spent their Christmas vacation, spring break, and two weeks in the summer volunteering at Petrified Forest. They staffed the desk at the Painted Desert Visitor Center, inventoried books and exhibits, painted fossil casts, and helped decorate for a special event. Jin translated an informational sheet into Mandarin Chinese.
Did You Know?
Petrified wood was so abundant when the ancestral Puebloan people were living in the area that they used it not only for stone tools but also as building material, such as the "brick" used in Agate House at Petrified Forest National Park.