A Greenheart Project in the Badlands
By: Benjamin Baney, Work and Travel Employer Services Coordinator
Recently, CCI Greenheart hosted a Greenheart Project at Theodore Roosevelt National Park on July 9th. It was a huge success! The project took place in Medora, North Dakota, which tracks heavy tourism in the summer with over a half million visitors every season due to its proximity to the national park which holds the Badlands.
Summer Work and Travel participants from Macedonia, Slovakia, and China teamed up with CCI Greenheart staff, employers, and special guests from North Dakota congressional staff! Jon R. Cameron from U.S. Senator John Hoeven’s office, Shirley Meyer from U.S. Senator Heitkamp’s office, and Larry Jahnke from North Dakota Congressman Kevin Cramer’s office stopped by the event to discover the power of volunteerism within the Greenheart movement and the positive impact it has on the J-1 program.
The Greenheart Project consisted of refurbishing a hiking trail tucked deep into the park that had been eroded due to the heavy rains in North Dakota during the spring. Volunteers carried gravel up the trail, cut pieces of wood, and successfully secured the steps for safe passage. After completing our volunteer work and hiking the trail up to the top, we then drove through the entire park, which can take more than 1.5 hours! The beautiful scenery was mesmerizing, and we even got to see a Bison at close range! The participants were very thankful for the opportunity, and many stated that it was one of the best parts of their programs so far.
CCI Greenheart is very proud, and grateful to the participants and employers who took part in the Greenheart Project, as well as to our congressional staff that were able to stop by. In addition, the Theodore Roosevelt National Park’s staff was kind, helpful and grateful for the efforts of our employers, participants, and CCI Greenheart. Hopefully we can continue to grow our presence at the park!