SUU’s IIC Receives Grant to Improve Zion National Park Trails

Published: October 12, 2020 | Author: Kevin Koontz | Read Time: 2 minutes

SUU's IIC working in Zion National ParkSouthern Utah University’s Intergovernmental Internship Cooperative (IIC) program and Zion National Park recently received a grant of $63,750 from the National Park Foundation (NPF) to improve trails in Zion National Park that will increase recreational accessibility to visitors of all abilities.

The NPF sponsored project widened and hardened an existing trail from Zion’s Lava Point Campground to the Lava Point Overlook. This newly hardened trail will serve as the only accessible upper-plateau route within the park and will allow visitors of all abilities the opportunity to access Zion’s designated wilderness areas all the way down into the peaks surrounding the Main Canyon. The Lava Point area of Zion provides the only campground outside of the Main Canyon, and is the only non-reservation campground in the Park.

“I gained valuable experience with Zion employees and how they build trails,” said Noah Reynolds, IIC intern and engineering major at SUU. “To me networking and getting my name out there was great. I worked hard to show that I would make a good park service employee. Plus, I got a chance to run some small equipment and that was fun too.”

The IIC program at SUU is just one of the 130 service corps organizations across the country. These modern service corps follow in the footsteps of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a Great Depression-era federal work relief program that provided food, shelter, education, and a $30-a-month stipend to three million young men as they restored and enhanced public lands across the country. Trails, roads, and campgrounds that the CCC built between 1933 – 1942 are still in use today.

The IIC engages youth in building meaningful leadership and educational skills. These experiences provide opportunities to develop a working knowledge about natural and cultural resources and a variety of careers in public lands management while shaping the next generation of public land leaders and advocates. This valuable work creates a sustainable and effective network of land management and education partners. The IIC leverages existing partner resources to expand partner capacity, supports local economies and under-served communities, shares knowledge regionally, and opens doors for youth development and education opportunities.

As the “University of the Parks,” Southern Utah University strives to foster an appreciation for nature, the environment, and our public lands. To learn more visit or call SUU’s Outdoor Pathways Department (435) 586-1983.

Tags: Regional Services Outdoors Intergovernmental Internship Cooperative

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