This was my last week here in Hot Springs. A lot has happened in the last week, including our Latino Conservation Week celebration. Our event had around 40 volunteers show up representing a local catholic church. We split into four groups and collected trash from roads and trails inside the park. I was amazed with the amount of trash we all picked up, which amounted to several full bags as you can see from the picture. While the park looks clean, the volunteers were very enthusiastic to find and collect all the trash they could. I was roving during the clean-up so I got to meet the different groups. For some people this was their first time in the park, even though they had lived here for most of their lives. It was a beautiful sunny morning and many people were taking pictures as they walked through the park’s trails and along Bathhouse Row.
After the volunteer portion of our event, we transitioned into our educational fair. We had eight tents set up, with rangers, volunteers, interns, and state park rangers all doing programs for the public. The kids loved all of the activities, from making tufa to going inside and playing around tents. Overall it was a great event, and we had a picture of the event come out on the front page of the Sunday newspaper. It was inspiring and heartwarming to see the work payoff with such great benefits for the Latino community here in Hot Springs.
Also this has been my last week of my internship. I spent the first two days of this week working the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). We went out in pairs with other interns and measured well depth in the surrounding area. I enjoyed meeting with and talking USGS employees, who gave me lots of advice on working for USGS and the federal government in general. The rest of the week has been spent wrapping everything up. I’m planning on going on a final road trip this last weekend, before flying out Tuesday next week back home to Salt Lake City. I’ve very much enjoyed my time here in Hot Springs, but I’m becoming increasingly excited to go back home to my friends, family and pets.