DOI / VISTA Team Projects

Sequoia and Kings National Park

DOI / VISTA: Michael Mueldener
Supervisor: Denise Robertson
Address: 47050 Generals Highway, Visalia, California 93271
County: Tulare & Fresno County
Voice Telephone: 559 565-4232
Web site:
Congressional District: 23
Bureau: National Park Service (NPS)


The mission of Sequoia and Kings National Park is,  " conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wildlife therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations." Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks collaborate with local high schools, community colleges and non-profit partners to develop programming that foster deep connections between the environment and youth. Their programs build the next generation of environmental stewards and create a pathway for careers in public lands.

The DOI/VISTA project site Sequoia and Kings National Park is sponsored by the National Park Service (NPS) whose mission is to preserve unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the national park system for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. The Park Service cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world.

About the Surrounding Community

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are bordered by Tulare and Fresno counties, two of the poorest counties in California. The population is culturally and economically diverse. There is a substantial Latino presence throughout both counties, with approximately 72% of students identifying as Hispanic or Latino. A high percentage of families with children under the age of 18 are living below the poverty line. 71% of the students enrolled in local schools qualify for free or reduced price lunch. Agriculture is the dominant industry in the local economy, and many of the parents work in this industry. Unemployment is high, and the unemployment problem in the agricultural industry is being exacerbated by the drought conditions currently prevailing for the third year in a row in California. 

Project Overview

DOI/VISTA volunteer helps increase recruitment for a youth development program that offers a high school elective course to study natural resource management and forestry skills. She helps develop programming for enrolled students to gain a better understanding of careers in public lands by hosting career advisory sessions led by park staff. Sarah creates opportunities for youth to gain valuable job skills through service-learning conservation projects on public lands including invasive plant species management, native plant species propagation, habitat restoration and trail building. She also helps create pathways for youth to pursue higher education through a partnership with Reedley College that offers associate degrees in natural resource fields. Her programs will equip students for better paying jobs than those currently available to them in the regions agricultural sector and will consequently lift entire families out of poverty.

Sponsors and Partners

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