Zion National Park launches ‘Canyon Conversations’ podcast discussing park resources

Angels Landing towers over the Virgin River in Zion National Park, date, location unspecified | Photo courtesy of Pixabay, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Zion National Park has launched a new podcast series, “Canyon Conversations,” in order to make information about the park’s biodiversity more accessible to the general public.

The podcast is hosted by park interpretation rangers Ben Gibson and Darcy McKinley-Lester who lead educational programs about park resources, talk to visitors on trails and work at the visitors center and human history museum.

They began work on their pilot episode, “Hidden Stories,” over the summer and it was published on Sept. 29. In the 25-minute episode, the rangers shared some of the geological stories behind Zion’s cliffs, including the creation and destruction of the landscape, dinosaurs, mass extinction and volcanic eruptions.

The podcast started out as a project assigned to the rangers to create yet another platform to reach visitors with messages about park resources.

“It’s just making information about the park a little bit more accessible,” Gibson said. “So if people want to listen while they’re here, if they want to listen to a little bit before they come visit, I think that’s the goal.”

The park hopes to release two more episodes next summer and possibly a shorter episode over the winter. Gibson said their next episode may be about the park’s watershed, hydrology and the Virgin River, and in the other they may discuss fire ecology.

Their goal is to eventually post their podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and other podcast websites to help expand its reach.

“I feel like throughout the park system, we’ve got a lot of information available for people but a lot of it’s kind of tucked away on websites,” Gibson said. “It could just be a little bit more accessible and maybe fun way to learn about and connect with the park.”

Watch the “Hidden Stories” episode here.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter:  @STGnews | @MikaylaShoup

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