Southern Utah

Alternative Spring Breakers help staff at Zion

 ZION NATIONAL PARK (News4Utah) - Spring Break means Zion National Park is getting an influx of visitors.

 
With a thin staff Park Officials are requesting patience and explain how they are finding help in an unlikely place. 
 
Zion National Park's shuttles started back up March 10 in preparation for spring break,
but with Springdale under construction many of the parking options are not available.
 
"One of the biggest questions we get all the time is: 'Hey where can we park? I can't find parking.'
It's always a challenge here, especially with the construction project going on," said John Marciano Public Information Officer with Zion National park. 
 
Marciano says Park officials prepared as much as they could for more visitors,  but they are also finding help from some college spring breakers. 
 
"We are so thin-staffed right now we haven't been able to hire our summer staff,  and these folks rather than going to Panama City and hitting the beach and partying, They come here and they help us with different projects," said Marciano.
 
Marciano says schools from all over the country are taking part in the Alternative Spring Break program
 
"We've got the University of Virginia here this week, next week we have Washington State University, and then the following  week we have Georgia Tech," said Marciano. 
 
"They'll work with sustainability, they'll work with our archeology group. I mean, they'll work to eradicate some of these invasive plant species, do clearing for fire hazards, they're just really fun to have around," said Marciano. 
 
The road-widening project is planned to continue through the end of April, and until then there are very few parking spots in town. 
 
The park appreciates the patience of visitors.

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