The adjustment to this conservative way of life was not nearly as difficult as I expected. In fact, I found myself appreciating the amazing surroundings and the simplicity of life in the House Rock Valley. Little did I know, the Grand Canyon Trust was working its mission statement into not only my volunteer efforts, but into my way of life.
The mission of the Grand Canyon Trust is “to protect the Colorado Plateau – its spectacular landscapes, flowing rivers, clean air, diversity of plants and animals, and areas of beauty and solitude.”
There I was, only a few days into my time volunteering with the trust, and I was falling in love with the beauty and solitude of my worksite, waking up to the landscape every day and being thankful that places like the House Rock Valley still existed for me to visit.
I could have easily been fed facts including the size of the Colorado Plateau, the types of plant and animal species living in the area, and the threats to the region…and I was. The thing is, I was also experiencing this area firsthand. Eventually I would restore fencing for one of the fastest land animals in North America, hike down the Paria River and drink from a natural spring, remove invasive tamarisk to make room for willow, learn about the coal-fired power plant on the Navajo Reservation, and much more. Landscapes, rivers, air, plants, animals, beauty, solitude.
I have worked with a large handful of non-profits and never have I lived out a mission statement so fully in my work and daily life. The Grand Canyon Trust values volunteers not only as workers, but as stewards, continuing the appreciation of and passion for the beautiful land we live on.
My work with the Trust has changed the way I see the world around me. If that’s too cheesy for you, suffice it to say that the Trust has changed the way I live my work. It is this passion for all parts of work that I will take with me when I leave Northern Arizona and continue my adventures. Not only will I continue my love for this area, but I will also try to truly live the mission of those I work with next.
Ghandi was right when he said we should be the change in the world. My only addendum would be that we should truly live the change in every aspect of our work and life.