Working in Paradise

  • July 13, 2016
  • Posted by Kong Yang

I got to spend one month working in one of the most beautiful places in the world, Glacier National Park. As part of the Glacier Youth Corps, our crew got to work on a variety of jobs. From citizen science to weed pulling to building a fence and to putting up the very first bat condo, our crew had some fun jobs. In addition to all the jobs we got to experience, we also got to drive and hike all over the park.

Citizen science, a program where any citizens can volunteer and go conduct animal surveys, took the majority of our time in the park. We got to do plenty of animal surveys, ranging from pikas, mountain goats, big horned sheep and loons. In addition to these specific animals, we also had to record if we saw any other kinds of animals during the surveys. For example, we also saw some black bears, elks, moose, marmots, chipmunks and many more. For these surveys, we got to travel all over the park. Some of the places we went to includes: Hidden Meadows, Winona Lake, Old Man’s Trail, Red Eagle Lake, Swiftcurrent Lake, Lake Josephine, Iceberg Lake, Itokomi Lake, Hidden Lake and the three Quartz lakes. Getting to hike these trails for work is an experience I will never forget.

During our second week in the park, we got to travel to a part of the park that does not get many visitors. Going up north, we went passed Polebridge (by the way, they are known for their huckleberry bear claws) and made our way to Logging Creek. The Logging campground is a primitive campground, where there is no potable water, so we had to filter our own water. We worked with the backcountry ranger, Rebecca, to clear out a section of brush so we could put up a fence for a pasture. The pasture will be for the horses that will be there to help out when materials are needed for the backcountry cabins. One thing that was unique was that since it was a historic cabin, we had to put up the fence like they would have back in the day. We only got to put in a portion of the fence, but it was an amazing experience overall.

The bat condo was a very unique job in the sense that this was the first ever to be put up in the park. The condo is a essentially a 4x4 doghouse, but with wood about three inches apart inside so the bats can fit and use this instead of going into buildings. To accommodate the bats, this structure had to be lifted into the air by at least eight feet. With the winds being extra strong on the east side of the park, and with the structure being over 700 pounds, we had to build a frame strong enough to hold it. It took some precision and measuring, and then more measuring but in the end we eventually got the measurements correct to where it would hold the structure. Seeing a forklift putting the structure where it was supposed to be was a sight I will never forget.

In between these were a couple days of hand pulling weeds. Taking weeds out and away from the park is crucial because if left, they can take over areas and take over some of the native plants.
In conclusion, this was a month of fun and rewarding experience. Not many people can say they got to use Glacier National Park as an office. It was also a morale booster to hear from all the tourists about how much they appreciated us in keeping the park as beautiful as we can. The Glacier Youth Corps is a fantastic part of MCC that not many people know about, but hopefully my experience can put the name out.


Miss you guys so much! MCC was the best experience of my life and I encourage anybody and everybody to take this challenge, you won’t regret it! So thankful for the skills I learned, the strengths I gained, the experiences made and most important the life long friendships we all created!

Posted by Ravyn at July 14 2016

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