Grand Teton National Park Employees Give “Day of Service” to Local Community

Habitat for Humanity "Day of Service" Crew
on Martin Luther King Day
January 21, 2009
Grand Teton National Park employees donated a “Day of Service” to their local community of Jackson, Wyoming in observance of Martin Luther King Day on Monday, January 19, 2009. Park Service staff contributed their time and energy in answer to the nation-wide challenge from President Barack Obama, who called upon American citizens to provide community service during the federal holiday.

A team of 13 Grand Teton employees joined 17 other community volunteers to help with the construction of two houses being built by the local Habitat for Humanity affiliate; these houses are destined to become homes for two well-deserving Jackson families. Park staff also collected over 200 pounds of food for the Jackson Cupboard, a community-based pantry, to help stock shelves with groceries for families in need. In addition to the food drive and building projects by Habitat for Humanity of the Greater Teton Area, several park naturalists provided educational programs for two different audiences. Park interpretive rangers organized a field trip on Teton geology for the Jackson Hole Middle School’s gifted and talented students; and park naturalists also gave a hands-on program about park wildlife to the elderly residents of the Living Center, a nursing care facility, as well as to several pre-school students who were visiting the Living Center on Martin Luther King Day.

These multiple outreach initiatives offered Grand Teton employees an opportunity to give back to a generous and highly-engaged community that regularly supports park programs and projects with volunteer assistance throughout the year. It also provided park staff with the chance to contribute to their local community in a direct and tangible way.

National Park Service employees who participated in the “Day of Service” projects felt that it was a worthy and rewarding experience, and many expressed an interest in seeking additional opportunities to participate as community volunteers in the future.