As the transition in presidential administrations continues, much is uncertain, but one thing is clear; the work that the National Park Service is vital for preserving, maintaining, and protecting the health and overall wellness of existing resources in our National Parks that millions of Americans use each year. Jessica Bundy, a Facility Management Systems Specialist at National Park Service, oversees the work done on the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. After the trails construction in 1937, the Appalachian National Scenic Trail has been one of the most popular in the United States. Jessica and her colleagues work to tell stories through the trail by displaying its history, use tools like GIS to map hotspots or places of interest that require attention, and consider innovative ways to reduce over population on the trails as leave no trace (LNT) practices become ever more important.
As the National Park Service is a government entity with limited funding, Jessica and colleagues work with Nature conservancies like the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and Partners in order to facilitate additional work that benefits the sites along the trail. Looking forward, I believe that the aid from all partnering Nature Conservancies will be all the more vital for maintaining a functioning National Park Service as the political climate will be increasingly uncertain. Regardless Jessica states that the goal of the National Park Service will be to “Design in such a way as to become invisible.”
Image Credit: National Park Foundation https://www.nationalparks.org/explore-parks/appalachian-national-scenic-trail