The Arrival and Introduction

IMG_2854 I’ve been in Colorado for a little over a week now —and what a great time it’s been. My mom came with me for the weekend to make sure I was okay moving across the country. This is the furthest away I’ve moved from home, and I can only imagine how she feels dropping me off, but we both know this is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity and blessing. The first I noticed from the airport were the mountains! The Rocky Mountains make the “mountains” in Virginia look like just hills. Second, humidity it at an all time low here, making my Latina hair manageable. Third, street and city names were in Spanish! What a comforting feeling to see that my heritage and Latin roots were being embraced here —that’s very different from the East Coast. Even my mom was pleasantly surprised. Once settled into my new place in Littleton, we went on exploring. The views from just driving on the highway are breathtaking but we took advantage to visit Downtown Denver —the State Capitol, 16th Street Mall, LoDo, Commons Park, and more. A perfect weekend and weather to visit the city and truly explore my new home. IMG_3510 On my first day at the National Park Service, I finally met my supervisors Tegan & Ben.  I couldn’t have asked for better people to work with; they immediately included me on their team with an excellent attitude and great sense of humor. Tegan had even decorated my new cubicle with a colorful sign that read, “WELCOME ISABEL!”  —so thoughtful! After a tour of the Intermountain Regional Office, a three-story building, I was welcomed into the team meeting with about three other members. The main item on the list for that week was National Get Outdoor’s Day and their even on Saturday for Colorado Get Outdoor’s Day. This included getting last minute materials, checking in on vendors, set up and clean up times, and ensuring every team member completed their tasks. Right from the start of the day, I got to see the behind-the-scenes planning and chaos for such a event. Everything from budgets, funding, materials, transportation, event signage, and partners had to be communicated and organized. I really do enjoy programming so I couldn’t wait until the actual event day. IMG_3691-001 On Saturday, I arrived to Sloan’s Lake before the event start time to help with unpacking, organization of tables and vendors, and eventually table for the National Park Service. Sloan’s Lake is a beautiful outdoor park with a running/biking trail that runs around the lake itself and adjacent to a beautiful view of Downtown. Even before 10AM, we had tons of people browsing through the event with their bikes,dogs,  children, and families. Local community groups tabled to share their love for the outdoors and promote their mission: Latino Outdoors, Coleman, Sierra Group, and more. The National Park Service had its own section dedicated to different divisions and activities for children. Starting at our table, children could begin to do a series of hands-on activities that would allow them to be sworn in as a Junior Ranger. Kids of all ages were super pumped about being Junior Rangers and receiving their official badge and hat. The event was a true success. While at the NPS table, I was able to hand out pamphlets about many national sites the NPS is in charge of all over the country, and raise awareness of the many parks Colorado has offer right here in the state. Of course, we had cool freebie items such as pens with highlighter ends, frisbees, stickers, tattoos, children activity books, notepads, and even cupcakes. After a long day, it was time to clean up. The Park Service, Forest Service, Colorado Parks & Wildlife folks, and even volunteers all helped to take down everything from left over materials, tables, tents, chairs, and trash within less of two hours. Everything was loaded into trucks and Sloan’s Lake was left clear and open. By 5PM, I was on my way back home and although super tired, in true excitement of what else these weeks could be like. Monday will consist of unloading the trucks of whatever is our materials, and organizing them for future years. I can’t wait for the next big project NPS will allow me to take on. From Colorado, Isabel My mommy and I at the Colorado State Capitol IMG_3409  

No Comments

Post A Comment