Local Students to Hike with Top Official

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EUGENE, Ore. — A high ranking member of President Obama’s cabinet is joining some Eugene students on a special hike this weekend.

Students at the Network Charter School in Eugene have been taking a national parks class. Their field trip to Crater Lake just got a lot more interesting.

Network Charter School students have spent the year learning about our national parks.¬†They’ve done the book work and now they’re getting to see one for themselves, the breathtakingly blue, Crater Lake.

“If it’s worthy of making a national park, then it is something that I really want to see,” said Network Charter School 9th Grader Rose Kinch.

“It’s really deep and its and it’s really blue and the first people who went there called it deep blue lake.” said Network Charter 7th grader Jade Weaver.

The students are going to snowshoe along the Hemlock Trail. Following right alongside the students will be the U.S Secretary Of The Interior Sally Jewell.

“For me it’s kind of like a dream come true for this to be able to happen,” said Network Charter School teacher Denise Velasco. “I think it’s really exciting and I think it will be a great opportunity for the students to be able to meet someone at this level in the government.”

“My reaction was ‘oh my gosh’. I was so excited about that,” said Kinch.

Secretary Jewell leads an agency of more than 70,000 employees and serves as steward for approximately 20% of the nation’s lands.

She has scaled Mount Rainier and recently climbed the highest mountain in Antarctica.

“The kids are getting an opportunity to ask her questions about the national parks based off of things we have been learning,” said Velasco.

The students say they have their questions ready.

“I heard there were animals fleeing from Yellowstone because of seismic activity in the super volcano. I wanted to ask her about that,” said Network Charter School Sophomore Zane Harwood.

“I would like to ask her how we can make national parks more accessible for everyone,” added Velasco.

The students have been asked to speak at a press conference with Secretary Jewell

“I feel special about it. I know my friends don’t get to go snow shoeing at the lake, let alone go with the Secretary of the Department of Interior,” said Weaver.

It’s likely a hike these students won’t forget as they get the opportunity to see this volcanic wonder with one whose days are spent making sure places like this remain protected.

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