Final Alternative Spring Break Report


SCA ASB Staff doing the ‘Leaf and Logo™’ (L to R): Molly, Sam, Emily, Rebecca

SCA’s Alternative Spring Break program for 2009 at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon has finished for the 60 lovely members of the program and is wrapping up for the fabulous SCA staff that joined the members on this adventure. As we wipe down and put away tents, clean and oil the cast iron, count safety glasses and vests and thank the many people of the Grand Canyon, SCA and American Eagle for the many opportunities to be here this month, we are reflecting on the power of this experience. We have a little nostalgia (who wants to forget all those wonderful rides in the Big White Vans (otherwise known as the Black, Green, Brown vans for team one or Van full of Slackers, Mr. Tambourine Van and Mr. Bojangles for team two), and a lot of hope. For all of us, the Grand Canyon, and the future of service and stewardship. That is a lot for just two intense weeks; true. Nevertheless, it is true.

Here are some final numbers, and thoughts and reflections, which might help to demonstrate why we feel nostalgic and hopeful.

Totals for work done in the two weeks at the south rim of the Grand Canyon Invasive Removal:

  • 106 Scotch Thistle removed
  • 750 Diffuse Knapweed removed
  • 2527 Stork’s Bill removed
  • 682 Black Medic Clover removed
  • 123 Horehound removed
  • 2752 Large/Mature Russian Thistle removed
  • 5920 m2 (meters square) of seedling Russian Thistle Removed

Native Plants Salvaged:

  • 1064 plants placed into the temporary nursery at CVIP
  • (Plus one tiny sage that was thought to be dead by some but was saved by an honorable SCA staff member!)

Total hours for members over the past two weeks:

  • 1800. 

The park staff have said there were enough hours and enough work done that they would have had to have three (3) months of four (4) seasonals doing this work!

Terrific! Good job ASB’ers! That is a hopeful number for sure!
We can change the world one native plant or invasive at a time.

It is our hope as SCA staff and as stewards of community and land too that this month- we have managed to inspire ourselves, the park staff, and all the members a bit toward continuing on with service, a conservation-minded lifestyle and with the spirit of sharing, hard work, and community building that we all experienced while here on the south rim of the Grand Canyon this March. All of us were able to work toward helping the park with their vegetation program while doing chores, exploring the world of Grand Canyon National Park and while being part of a group of people who although all different and unique, all came together to share in an experience that might help us to define ourselves and our work a bit more.

A quote from Anatole France might be apt to end this final blog for the ASB Grand Canyon program 2009:

Do not try to satisfy your vanity by teaching a great many things. Awaken people’s curiosity. It is enough to open minds; do not overload them. Put there just a spark. If there is some good inflammable stuff, it will catch fire.

Thank you to SCA, the staff of Grand Canyon National Park, to American Eagle, and to the Grand Canyon herself for allowing us to come learn, work hard, play and to share. May all our days and nights be filled with love and warmth, hard work and the inner knowing that service is indeed a wonderful path toward peace.

Emily in her kitchen

Sam and The Big White Tent