Today we celebrated 40 years of the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway!
Our day started at the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center. There was an unveiling of a new driving tour, A Grand Vision: John D. Rockefeller, Jr.'s Gift to Grand Teton National Park. This was created to help visitors understand and appreciate Mr. Rockefeller contributions to this special place. Next, some local high school students from Grand Teton's Pura Vida Program shared their perspectives on the park and how we could better involve young people in the future. Some of their ideas included fee-free entrance for students who show ID and extending the public bus system so it would have some stops inside the park.
The highlight was the keynote speaker, Clay James. A long time employee, confidant, and friend of the Rockefeller family, James shared fun and personal stories of his days with them: a large bottle of expensive wine that had gone bad but he didn't have the heart to tell Mr. Rockefeller and always saying "Mr. Laurance" because James thought he "deserved that kind of respect".
There was cake for everyone at the end, and we all came away with a renewed feeling of respect and gratitude for the amazing family that was this park's benefactor.
We want to thank you for following us on the 40 Days to 40 Years Blog. We have had a great time learning and sharing fun facts and information about the Parkway. We hope that future visitors will not just drive through this beautiful stretch of land, but stop and enjoy it. This blog will stay on the Grand Teton website as a reference for your next adventure!
Meet the 40 Days to 40 Years Blog authors:
DL is a Park Ranger-Naturalist at Colter Bay Visitor Center. During her five summers in Grand Teton National Park, she has served as a Student Conservation Association/Grand Teton Association intern for one summer and park ranger for four subsequent summers. On her weekends, DL prefers to spend her time hiking and backpacking in the canyons of GTNP. DL is seldom seen without her camera, and many of her photos have appeared in various park publications, visitor center displays, and on the park's Facebook page. During the winter, DL works as a geological technician for the Utah Geological Survey in Salt Lake City.
DL at play
KG started with the park service in the Volunteers In Parks Program (link)at the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve in Grand Teton National Park. She enjoyed herself so much that she was inspired to finish her bachelor's degree and now studies Wildlife Biology at University of Montana. Currently, KG spends her summers as a Park Ranger-Naturalist at Colter Bay Visitor Center. In her free time, KG enjoys hiking, mountain biking, fishing, and hanging out with her favorite four-legged friend. After graduation, KG hopes to devote her career to the National Park Service.
KG and her best friend
Join us next season for more adventures in GTNP!