Week 1

My first week at the Intermountain Regional Office (IMRO) was great! It did not take long to get fully settled in – laptop and internet access, building tour, and introductions are all done. I have met with the Communications and Legislative Affairs team and learned a little bit about what I will be helping with this summer. I will be helping Vanessa (my supervisor and one of the Public Affairs Specialists in the office) with controlled correspondence, legislative affairs summaries, and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. All of this is new to me, having never dealt with it during my experience at Valley Forge National Historical Park, which is great! I am already accomplishing my goals for this internship: learning new areas of work within the National Park Service (NPS) and learning about how the work differs between the regional level and the park level. Controlled correspondence is correspondence that has been deemed important enough for tracking. In the situations I have helped with so far, that means communication between a park and a congressman. As for legislative affairs, I am summarizing and tracking legislative activity that affects any of the states in the Intermountain Region: Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma. My first week also happened to be the week leading up to a big event, Get Outdoors Colorado Day. This was the second year the NPS has taken the lead on the event, and the Office of Communications and Office of Interpretation and Education had been working together on it. So I helped with final preparations and set up, including doing a time lapse of the building of the Natural Playscape. The day of the big event was a long one. We met at Sloan’s Lake Park at 6 a.m. to begin setting up. The event went really well, and is was a great community event. There were food trucks, a free climbing wall, free kayaking and paddle boarding, bike courses, over 40 exhibitors with interactive activities and information, a natural playscape, a large grassy play area with toys and games, and free fishing. After helping with set up I assisted the photographer with photo releases, and had plenty of time to explore the event. Once the event ended at 3 p.m., clean up only took about an hour and a half. After a long day in the hot sun everyone was ready to get going, which probably spurred a quick break down.

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