Blue Glacier Then & Now

Blue Glacier. (Chip Freund)

Since its inception, SCA has provided opportunities for generations of young environmental stewards to step foot into our country’s majestic and awe-inspiring national parks. It also just so happens that many SCA members capture some stunning images while serving at these iconic places. One of them is SCA alum, Chip Freund, who served at Olympic National Park in July of 1982. 

During his service on a backcountry trail crew, Chip had the opportunity to explore his surroundings and photograph the day-to-day life of his fellow crewmates, also documenting a remarkable natural wonder known as the Blue Glacier.

SCA Olympic National Park Backcountry Trail Crew, 1982. (Chip Freund)

Fast forward forty years to present day, to when Chip took a trip with two of his adult children to the exact same place his conservation journey started. The difference? An astonishing loss of glacier due to the rapidly increasing effects of climate change. In comparing the two photos, 34% of the glacial mass has disappeared, and at risk of potentially being gone by 2050.

Blue Glacier in 1982 and 2022. (Chip Freund)

The goal of Chip’s return to Olympic National Park was to recreate several photos taken at the time of his SCA experience in 1982 that will be displayed next to each other as part of a photographic exhibition. This project not only shows the impact of serving at a national park, but also opens up an important dialogue on the impacts of climate change. You can read about Chip’s visit firsthand in his blog post “An Emotional Journey.”

Chip’s family On-site at Olympic National Park for project filming. (Chip Freund)

Special thanks to Chip for sharing this powerful story and all SCA alumni who continue to inspire the next generation of conservation leaders!

Learn more about Chip’s Blue Glacier Then & Now Project.