Park Journeys, Inc. (“PJI”) is a non-profit organization which seeks to educate, energize and empower urban and rural youth through a multi-dimensional program centered around Yellowstone National Park.
The Park Journeys programs represent a unique collaboration among PJI, Yellowstone Forever and Yellowstone National Park.
Since its first trip with Pittsburgh’s Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild Youth and Arts in 2012, Park Journeys has sent 30 trips comprised of approximately 400 students and leaders from 12 youth centers in 9 cities to Yellowstone National Park and will send more in the summer of 2019.
Each trip includes 10-12 high school students as well as instructors from the youth centers. Students and instructors stay at the Yellowstone Forever Overlook on the edge of Yellowstone. In Yellowstone, the activities are led by Naturalists from the Yellowstone Forever.
All the programs are adapted to the priorities of each center but also comprise three consistent Park Journeys Phases:
Phase 1: Before going to Yellowstone, includes 5-6 group activities focused on team-building, understanding travel, hikes, nature excursions, parent education, and often local civic causes.
Phase 2: 5 days in Yellowstone National Park, includes seeing and learning about spectacular wildlife, ecosystems and geology, activities including team-building, discussion of civics, conservation, and debates, as well as exertive activities and amazing star-gazing.
Phase 3: Upon return, incorporates approaches to bringing the experience back to the communities such as photography exhibits, meeting with local politicians discussing conservation and the National parks, community presentations, trips to Washington DC, civic and local volunteerism, among other activities.
This would not be possible without the support of our partners, Yellowstone Forever, Yellowstone National Park and the participating youth centers.