When people think of National Parks, most think of majestic vistas and wilderness locations. However, there are 409 parks throughout the country that include National Parks, National Battlefields, National Seashores, National Monuments, and National Historic Sites. Washington, DC, itself has 23 different National Parks including the White House. I am privileged to be a volunteer at a number of those with the National Mall & Memorial Parks.
In addition to my work with Green Seal, I’ve always been a fan of the National Parks and a history buff. Looking for a chance to get outside and connect with people, I became a Volunteer in the Parks (VIP) in 2009. For the last seven years, I have been honored to work at some of our nations most visited and most hallowed memorials. I’ve met soldiers who stormed the beaches at Iwo Jima, couples that marched with Dr. King, and family members who broke down crying at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. I have been lucky enough to hear their stories and then re-tell them to the next generation, to the millions of students who come to D.C. to learn about their history. My day job involves enhancing suitability through researching best practices and environmental criteria, while my weekend job allows me to bring the parks alive for visitors and show them why conservation and protection is important. (more…)