Sequoia and Kings Canyon, CA

Mar 3rd, 2018 to Mar 11th, 2018
Cost: $920.00 Partner Organization(s): National Park Service ( Service Type: Environmental Education, Environmental Sustainment Language(s): N/A Number of Participants: 10 (including site leaders)

Trip Logistics and Participant Requirements

This is a trip into the great outdoors! “Housing” will be our tents, as we will be camping in Sequoia National Park in designated camping areas. Campground amenities are minimal: there will be bathrooms with toilets and sinks, but no hot water. Showers will be scarce, but we will feel right at home with nature.

We will be flying out of D.C. on Saturday, March 3rd. If a person in the group lives in NOVA and offers to host us on Friday night, we will drive to their house that night in order to be closer to the airport. If not, we will wake up very early to catch our flight in D.C. from Charlottesville (we will be driving in cars provided by Jared and Custis). Our early morning flight from D.C. will arrive in Los Angeles in mid-morning, where we will rent a van for transportation to the park (about a 4.5 hour drive). Our return flight will leave mid-morning from Los Angeles, and will arrive in D.C. in the late afternoon/early evening on Saturday, March 10th. We will then drive straight to Charlottesville from D.C., making it back to Charlottesville on Saturday evening.

Ideal participants for this trip have a solid work ethic and do not mind a lack of showers! It is encouraged that you have an interest in the environment, and learning more about our country’s resources and hidden gems. Also, a sense of adventurousness is encouraged, as we will be living in tents for a week. In addition, please note that some tasks may be physically strenuous (i.e. performing trail maintenance, hiking uphill, etc).


Service Activities

The main effort behind our service in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park is to make a lasting impact on the sustainability of the park while educating ourselves about practices that can elongate the life of our natural resources, both in the park and at home. To this end, we will be working hand-in-hand with the National Park Service (NPS) to help make the park a better place. Expected activities can include invasive species removal, in order to encourage growth of native plants and animals. We will also participate in trail maintenance, in order to keep-up the trails made by NPS so that visitors can enjoy the park, while using designated travel areas so not to disturb plants and animals. Trail counts are another common activity to perform for NPS; you get to hike all day while collecting information for NPS! In the end, everything will be tied into the overall goal of having a positive impact on the park, and educating ourselves.


Regional Background:

Sequoia is a National Park located in California. The park has it all; from rivers to mountains to giant trees, this diverse environment is a joy to be in. The park is specifically known for its giant sequoia tree species. However, the park also houses over 1,200 species of other types of plants, due to its range of altitudes. The park is also home to many species of animals, from frogs, to bighorn sheep, to black bears. During the month of March, the weather averages 65 degrees in the day and 42 degrees at night. Therefore, this makes it the perfect time to go, as crowds are sparse, yet the weather is perfect for service. It is a forest, however, so bring a rain jacket!


Community Background:

NPS is a federal agency created in 1916 in order to sustain and improve our nation’s landmarks and regions of beauty. The subsidiary we will be at, Sequoia and Kings Canyon, were founded at different times. Sequoia National Park was founded before NPS, in 1890, whereas Kings Canyon National park was founded in 1940. The workers for NPS themselves, especially the park rangers, are known to be a friendly group of people who know a lot about — and love — their jobs. Because of this, NPS workers are extremely educational and experienced with service groups.


Recreational Activities:

If you like hiking, this is the trip for you. Most of our free time will be devoted to exploring the park: this includes going on hikes we picked out ourselves, taking scenic drives in the van, and stargazing at night. If we do not feel like hiking, we can hang around the campsite and have Custis lead us through yoga (among other campsite activities). Trips to the visitor’s center will also be made, as it can be a source of much information which you can take in at your own pace.


About Your Site Leaders:

Custis is a 4th year Systems Engineering major, with a minor in business. “High-energy” would be a good way to describe him: whether he is leading yoga, or on a solo backpacking trip, or bird hunting the mountains of West Virginia, or training his English setter puppy Oski, Custis is always on the move. Custis enjoys giving back to NPS because he has had such great experiences in the beautiful wilderness of our country. He is back for his second round of ASB, having gone to Zion National Park his first year. If you are lucky, he will bring his banjo on this trip…

Jared is a 4th year Mechanical Engineering major. Fly fishing is one of Jared’s greatest passions, and he enjoys the places it takes him, from the mountains of Alaska to the bay flats of Texas (his home state, he must make sure you know). NPS has been at the heart of Jared’s family trips since he was young, so he feels obligated to give back. After living together second year, Jared and Custis became great friends due to mutual interest in the outdoors: fishing, hiking, hunting, etc. Jared enjoys backpacking in Shenandoah, fishing around Virginia, and training his English setter puppy — also Oski’s sister — Faye.