Happy Centennial Wishes for the Grandest Canyon We Know!


On February 26, Grand Canyon National Park turned the big 1-0-0. Anything but a hidden treasure in northern Arizona, the Grand Canyon is as amazing as it is vast.

Here are four things SCA loves about GRCA (that’s government-speak for this gobsmacking gorge):

Our Founder LOVES GRCA

Liz Putnam, SCA Members at the Grand Canyon

Liz Putnam holds a special place in her heart for the National Park system and every park she’s visited. The Grand Canyon is no exception. Liz visited the park a few years ago to keynote a gathering of the Alternative Break Citizenship School. It was an energizing few days and a reminder to Liz that places like the Grand Canyon are nature’s palaces. Read more about her trip >>

The Restoration of an Endangered Plant

Sentry Milk-vetch, photo by Michael Quinn/NPSPhoto of Sentry Milk-Vetch by Michael Quinn, NPS

In 1985, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed Sentry Milk-Vetch as an endangered species. Sentry Milk-Vetch grows in three locations along the South Rim. In 2009, a recovery program was started in hopes the plant population could once again flourish in the park. Scientists began with a greenhouse germination project to determine the best conditions Sentry Milk-vetch seeds would flourish, and SCA Plant Conservation Intern Emily Douglas helped conduct the greenhouse tests during her time with SCA. The greenhouse plants began flowering in 2010. Read more about the recovery program >>

Rich Native American History and Culture

Coronado Butte, Photo by W. Tyson Joye/NPSPhoto of Coronado Butte, by W. Tyson Joye, NPS

Grand Canyon National Park is only 100 years old, but the Canyon itself dates back thousands of years. Three Native American tribes still reside in Grand Canyon, where the grooves of the canyon tell the story of those who came before and are a reminder of the importance of the land to our lives. Read more about the Navajo history in Grand Canyon and the man trying to keep it alive >> 

Grand Canyon National Park Loves SCA Alumni

Todd Nelson, an SCA alum, is the Volunteer Coordinator at GRCA (above left, with Joshua Kezar, another SCA alum). We interviewed Todd a few years ago to learn more about his time with SCA and the impact and influence it had on his conservation career. Todd’s not the only SCA alum on staff at GRCA! Approximately 10% of staff at the park got their start with Student Conservation Association. Read Todd’s full interview >>

Teddy Roosevelt wasn’t a perfect president, but he was spot-on to designate Grand Canyon a national monument in 1908, paving the way for Woodrow Wilson to designate it a National Park on February 26, 1919.

The first 100 years for Grand Canyon National Park have been unparalleled just as Teddy Roosevelt would have wanted them to be, and we at SCA heartily wish even more amazing things to come for Grand Canyon and our NPS colleagues during the next 100! 

Student Conservation Association
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