Grand Canyon Fire Managers Host Alternative Break Citizenship School

A park firefighter shows students the contents of her fireline pack.
A park firefighter shows students the contents of her fireline pack.

NPS

Seventy-three students from thirty-nine universities attended a week-long Alternative Break Citizenship School (ABCs) at Grand Canyon National Park in August 2016. They learned about volunteer recruitment and the park's fire management program. When they return back to campus they will share what they learned with other students who will be leading an alternative break (volunteer service) in the school-year 2016/2017.  They'll play an important role in recruiting students interested in participating in alternative break volunteer opportunities across the country.

Universities represented include Baldwin Wallace University, Ball State University, College of William & Mary, Cornell College, George Mason, Hamline University, Indiana University, James Madison University, La Salle University, Lafayette College, Lasell College, Longwood University, Miami University, Michigan State University, Middlebury College, Nazareth College, Northwestern University, Roanoke College, Sonoma State University, Southern Methodist University, Southern New Hampshire University, SUNY Buffalo State College, University of Arizona, University of California, San Diego, University of Central Oklahoma, University of Colorado Denver, University of Connecticut, University of Delaware, University of Maryland - College Park, University of North Alabama, University of Oregon, University of Richmond, University of Wisconsin – Madison, Utah State University, Utah Valley University, Virginia Tech, Wellesley College, Wichita State University, and Xavier University. Centennial Volunteer Ambassadors from Saguaro National Park and San Antonio Missions are also participating this week. Students are staying at the Horace Albright Training Center while they’re in the park.

The students have been provided with the contact information for National Park Service Volunteer Coordinators in over 200 park units, with the hopes that some students select a park to do an alternative break - as has been the case in past ABCs at Grand Canyon National Park. 

Alternative Spring Break volunteers opportunities with the fire management program at Grand Canyon National Park include helping drag downed trees and debris, helping prepare archaeological sites for future prescribed burns, pressure testing and rolling fire hose, and monitoring pile burning and mechanical thinning.  These opportunities provided interested students the inspiration and tools to start a career with the National Park Service.

For more information about Alternative Spring Break and the Alternative Break Citizenship School, contact Grand Canyon National Park's Volunteer Resource Program Coordinator, Todd Nelson, at 928-638-7307.

Alternative Spring Break volunteers help fire managers chip dead and down vegetatio
Alternative Spring Break volunteers help fire managers chip dead and down vegetation to reduce the fuel load near the wildland urban interface.

NPS