Today was our first full day of STEAM in the Park at Bryce Canyon National Park, and what a wonderful day it was! Weather was absolutely perfect, from the chilly start to the blue skies splotched with fluffy white clouds hanging on the horizon. We even felt a few drops of rain here and there. Two highlights of the day were our discussions with Park Rangers which focused on biodiversity and human impact at Bryce Canyon.
Our afternoon conversations with Ranger Andres began with a compelling question. He asked us, "How do we make sense of the land that we see here?" This lead to wonderful conversations about the many ways we innately consider land, and the much deeper and richer opportunities we have to dig a little deeper and see the interconnectedness between humans and the Earth. Ranger Andres encouraged us to think not just of past human history, but also to consider our current relationship with the land which will help inform our future abilities to live and thrive as people and communities. He spoke about indigenous peoples who have inhabited the Bryce Canyon area for at least 10,000 years. He shared stories of Spanish missionaries and explorers in the 1700's. He spoke about pioneers and settlers in the 1800's for whom the canyon is now named. And, he spoke about all those who currently visit and explore the hoodoos, canyons, mesas, and plateaus of this area.
Ranger Andres followed up his initial question with several more that were designed to get us thinking, and lead to many conversations between us as we walked the rim of the canyon. Some of the things he asked include:
- Susan Bowdoin