Preserving the Mississippi River with Mississippi Park Connection's Fellowship Program

By Katie Cavanaugh-Smith posted 08-31-2023 05:13 PM


The majestic Mississippi River, often called the backbone of America, has played an integral role in shaping the nation's history, culture, and environment. Nurturing and safeguarding this vital natural resource requires dedicated efforts, and one of our member organizations stands out for its outstanding commitment: Mississippi Park Connection. Through its Mississippi River Fellowship program, which just wrapped up, this nonprofit organization has been making significant strides in preserving and exploring the wonders of the Mississippi River.

Fellowship and Discovery

The Mississippi River Fellowship, established by Mississippi Park Connection, is a 10-week, paid summer internship for diverse and underrepresented young adults ages 18-25 to explore the different branches of the National Park Service, including Visitor Services, Interpretation, Education, Natural & Cultural Resource Management, and the Volunteer Program.

 The program's core principles revolve around fostering a sense of connection between people and nature, empowering fellows to advocate for the river's well-being. By engaging in a range of activities such as field research, education and outreach, and community involvement, fellows gain a comprehensive understanding of the river's complex ecosystem and the challenges it faces.

Reflections from the 2023 Mississippi River Fellows

The impact of the Mississippi River Fellowship program can be best understood through the eyes of its participants. In a recent blog post shared by Mississippi Park Connection, the 2023 fellows shared their reflections on their transformative journey. They spoke passionately about their experiences monitoring water quality, restoring habitats, and connecting with local residents. The fellowship not only deepened their understanding of environmental conservation but also forged lifelong connections with fellow participants and the river itself.

As one fellow eloquently put it, "Being a part of the Mississippi River Fellowship program has opened my eyes to the vital importance of community engagement in conservation efforts. This fellowship has empowered me to believe in my capacity to make a real difference."

To learn more about the program, its impact, and how you can support its initiatives, we encourage you to visit the Mississippi Park Connection website.