Zion Forever Project makes progress as momentum and support continue

Stock image, St. George News

SPRINGDALE — After a successful spring launch of the Zion Forever Project, the official nonprofit partner of Zion National Park announced that immediate progress has been made with the funding and completion of projects that are top priority to the park.

The momentum behind the Forever Project has incited funding, partnerships and community support from organizations and park enthusiasts throughout the state and beyond – reflecting the project’s main objective of uniting park, community and state partners to leverage resources to address visitation and park protection issues.

Zion Forever Project has outlined the park’s highest priorities in the 2018 Field Guide, along with monetary projections for completion. Through the end of 2017, Forever Project will dedicate its efforts to secure support for the 2018 Field Guide projects not yet funded.

Following is a list of projects either completed or well underway for completion by the end of the year.

Protecting Zion with 3D Scanner

For the preservation of Zion’s story, the Forever Project recently funded a 3D scanner to document the historic South Entrance monument before it is relocated. This technology allows the park to more accurately restore the monument in its new location. Additional scanning and modeling projects on the park’s archaeology docket include the prehistoric Weeping Rock Granary; the Fife, Larson and Palmer Cabins; and the Cable Mountain Draw works. Zion’s trail network will follow, allowing for accurate, dynamic pre-trip materials for visitors before they get to its gateways.

Paiute Tribal Youth Camp

This annual project immersed Southern Paiute youth in their traditional homelands, alongside elders and park agency leaders, providing experiences reconnecting them to their cultural heritage, growing a next generation of park and public land stewards. The project is pursuing funding for 2018.

Funding includes:

  • Yevingkarere Camp (Southern Paiute Youth Camp)
  • Camp Kwiyamuntsi: Building Stewardship through Cultural Traditions
  • Camp Kwiyamuntsi: Rich Heritage, Bright Futures for Southern Paiute Youth

Concrete to Canyons

This annual project provides under-represented, Title 1 students from the Las Vegas area, 3-day, 2-night camping experiences led by park rangers. A project that empowers children and their families is integral to the future health of the parks system. The project is pursuing funding for 2018.

West Rim Trail

A $100,000 grant from the S.K. Gimbel Foundation will repair damaged sections of this popular trail in the canyon section, resulting in greater resource protection and visitor safety. Work on the trail begins this fall and is set to finish next year.

Scout Lookout

An anonymous donor pledged $75,000 (half of the project cost) to help fund new toilet facilities for Scout Lookout and Angels Landing. The park has engaged a design/production firm that has developed and installed high-tech toilet facilities in severe and highly sensitive locations, including several national parks in the U.S. and Canada. The Forever Project plans to begin site work in late 2018.

“We underestimated the enthusiastic and generous people and organizations that have readily risen to the task of supporting the Zion Forever Project,” Lyman Hafen, executive director of Zion National Park Forever Project, said. “We are off to a phenomenal start, thanks to so many. Recognized as a standard in stewardship for national parks throughout the country, our work has only begun.”

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