Thank you to Pete McBride and Vital Films for creating this beautiful tribute to the wilderness of the United States in honor of the Wilderness Act's 50th Anniversary."We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in. For it can be a means of reassuring ourselves of our sanity as creatures, a part of the geography of hope.."
- Wallace Stegner
With more people, families and groups venturing into Rocky Mountain National Park than ever before, you may be wondering how park rangers, staff and volunteers do it...
How do they keep all the pieces in place?
What challenges do they face?
And how can I help?
Thanks to Miles Barger, a visual information specialist for Rocky Mountain National Park, you can now learn so much more about the park and all the people who look after it. Throughout his career in park services, he has been constantly reminded of the deep love and curiosity that visitors have for national parks and wild places - but it isn't just about the wilderness itself. When it comes to national parks, visitors develop the same feelings for the people that look after them! With that in mind, Barger and his coworker Hope Ozolins created a team and a structure for a brand new podcast called Rocky Mountain National Podcast.
Listeners will enjoy 10 episodes per season, each one an hour long. The first season's focus will be on different park personnel, starting with some of the most beloved to park visitors; rangers and other educational and interpretive program leaders. He discusses things like why they became involved in national parks, what they do within Rocky Mountain National Park and some of the unique knowledge they impart on others. Personal stories blend with park information, news & updates, and specific information on planning a trip to the park."We are always looking for ways to reach other audiences and new tools to give people the information they want about the park," Kyle Patterson, spokesperson for RMNP, said.
Barger hopes to continue evolving the podcast to include a mini-series within the main season; shorter segments that focus on something more specific, like a research project or a current concern. The first 4 episodes are out already - take a listen for yourself!
Season 1, Episode 1: A Love of the Mountains with Kathy Brazelton
Join Kathy Brazelton, an East District Naturalist, in the Upper Beaver Meadows, as she shares her life as a ranger, ranger programs, various signs of spring and more.
Season 1, Episode 2: Chillin' in the Alpine with Cynthia Langguth
Ranger Cynthia Langguth teaches us about the interesting world of the alpine tundra. She'll teach about marmots, pika, ptarmigan and everything else in the land above the tree line...
Season 1, Episode 3: Gettin' Wild on Rocky's West Side
Explore all that the West Side of Rocky Mountain National Park has to offer with rangers Maci MacPherson and Michele Simmons!
Season 1, Episode 4: With Kyle Patterson
What does the Public Affairs Officer for RMNP actually do? Join Kyle Patterson and explore what he does, day in and day out; sharing news and messages, dealing with current issues at the park, and even how you can help keep the park beautiful for generations to come.
The Wounded Warrior Project aims to connect, serve and empower wounded warriors. Connecting members and their families to valuable resources ensures that they have the ability to live a life on their own terms. Recently, a group of veterans ventured out into the winter wonderland that is currently Rocky Mountain National Park with a couple goals in mind; socializing and challenging themselves in the process.
"Being part of the Wounded Warrior Project gives me the opportunity to connect with other veterans like me and create the same types of friendships I had while serving on active duty," says Army veteran Christopher.
Physical activity is key to helping injured warriors cope with stress and emotional concerns. In a WWP survey, 29.6% of respondents expressed that physical activity helps them address their mental health challenges. What better place to connect with nature, yourself and others than in Rocky Mountain National Park?
For many of the participants, it was the first time they'd strapped on snowshoes and hiked through the mountains. The opportunity to come together and bond over such a challenging shared experience was beneficial for all! Thanks to the generosity of donors, the day was available to the veterans at no cost to them.
"Not only am I connecting with other warriors, but it gives me a sense of accomplishment after completing each hike," says Christopher.