TUPELO, MS – This summer, the Natchez Trace Parkway (Parkway) employed four Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) members from the local community. For the past eight weeks, the YCC participants worked at the Parkway, taught local children in an environmental camp, removed the invasive privet plant, and repaired a 70-foot long boardwalk. They also learned about the history of the Parkway and the different aspects of the National Park Service (NPS).
On Saturday, July 20, 85 visitors participated in a Family Fun Day at Parkway Headquarters hosted by the YCC. As the YCC presented their favorite Parkway topics to visitors, they learned about the NPS badge and mission, bees and bats. All topics were researched and designed by the YCC and provided hands-on learning opportunities. Visitors were able to take home items such as: lavender and mint plants, bat finger puppets, and a homemade patch. Visitors also interacted with the YCC and learned about their time spent with the NPS and how it influenced their summer.
As the summer wraps up, the YCC will head back to school and off to college with real work experience. During August and September, the Parkway Visitor Center will display an exhibit made by the YCC, which showcases their 8-week adventure. We encourage you to stop by, look at the exhibit, and learn more about your national park.
PHOTO CAPTION: A YCC crew member teaches a group of visitors about bees, as another visitor plays with a bat finger puppet.