28 Jun Chamizal National Memorial: Outreach Project
I have been at Chamizal National Memorial for about a month now. It has been great interacting with visitors from all over the world, as well as reaching out to the community and learning about the culture in El Paso. As of right now, I have visited twelve different facilities and conducted educational programs about the National Park Service, Chamizal National Memorial, and desert animals. It has been great meeting the youth of El Paso, and learning about the different communities that reside in this culturally enriched city. I noticed that the further out the kids lived from Chamizal, the least likely they were to have visited our site. I also realized that many of the students didn’t know Chamizal as part of the National Park Service, they just assumed it was a park. My job has been to enhance their knowledge about the National Park Service, and encourage their visitations to national parks, along with their families. Another part of my job has been to recruit kids for the Trailblazer Program at Chamizal National Memorial. This program would consist of upcoming 4th and 5th grade students from the community, to join us and learn about public lands while visiting city, state, and national parks in the region of El Paso. This program is free, and the kids will get to go to White Sands National Monument, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Franklin Mountains State Park, and Rio Bosque Wetlands Park. This is a month long program every Tuesday and Thursday of July. My supervisor, Kathy Denton, describes Chamizal as a different type of National Park. We have to go out into the community to do outreach and educate them about our history because we are not really a scenic park, but a historic site. There are many locals who do not understand the meaning behind Chamizal National Memorial, which is very ironic because it is a park that was created because of the history of El Paso and Ciudad Juarez. I have been very busy going around doing all this outreach to local rec centers, but it is rewarding to see that the kids of El Paso now have aspirations to visit our park and many other National Parks all over the country.