Carlsbad Caverns National park will host a group of five college students who are volunteering their time with the Student Conservation Association (SCA).
The group will help to improve several park trails over the next three months.
The crew will work on Yucca and Juniper Ridge trails as well as park trails in Rattlesnake and Slaughter Canyons. Most of the trail work will consist of clearing vegetation overgrowth, installing mileage markers and building trail-locating stacks of rocks, or cairns.
SCA crews are assigned to help the National Park Service, United States Forest Service and other land agencies to complete work in outdoor settings.
Jesus Melchor, a first-year project leader with SCA, said the students learn conservation awareness, social responsibility and leadership skills.
The volunteers come from across the U.S.
Jason Ort of Indiana, Carly McGuire of California and Makenzie Haymaker of Virginia are all first-time volunteers.
“I love to be outdoors and working hard to improve a national park is an awesome experience,” said McGuire.
The fourth crew member is Nicholas Nwanze of Washington, D.C. who is returning for a third year with SCA.
“We are extremely pleased to have such a dedicated crew from SCA working on the park’s trails. We truly appreciate the hard work and dedication of these young people and hope they have a great experience,” said Carlsbad Caverns Superintendent Doug Neighbor.