I stumbled upon a new parks blog today, and it's one that holds promise for a couple of reasons.
For starters, the park system needs all the bloggers it can get. But beyond that, Tennessee Trailhead, though not even a month old, is a much welcome addition to the small handful of parks bloggers because its blogmeister is a high school junior.
Yep, Chance Finegan probably doesn't even own a razor and yet he's recognized the plight facing our national parks. And folks are worried about younger generations not appreciating the out-of-doors and national parks?
"The blog is only about two weeks old," he tells me. "I decided that talking to my friends about the trouble that the NPS is in wasn't doing much, but a blog would. I'm hoping to reach people at my school - teachers included - that otherwise wouldn't know about the issues facing the parks."
Now, I don't know about you, but when I was a high school junior I was more focused on girls and cars than world or national issues. Not only is it a breath of fresh air to discover Chance's blog, but to listen to his plans one gets a feeling that perhaps the younger generations are paying more attention to the world around them than they get credit for.
Listen to this:
"I'm a high school junior, and plan on becoming a park ranger after college. I hope to attend either U of Tennessee - Martin or U of Tennessee - Chattanooga, double majoring in natural resource management and environmental science/biology," says Chance. "I'm a junior ranger in about 40 parks, and I helped to found the Wilderness Advocacy Team - a division of the Cookeville High School Chapter of SPEAK (Students Promoting Environmental Action and Knowledge) - in response to the NPS Management Policy mess last year."
Kid's busy, no? And somehow he and his friends found the time last year to participate in 50 or so park planning issues with the National Park Service, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, and U.S. Forest Service. Oh yeah, they also volunteer at Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area.
When you get a chance, be sure to check out the Tennessee Trailhead. (fyi: The server was having some troubles this morning, so if you don't get through initially, try later in the day.)