GOAL Academy Presentations and Resources – Class of 2021

This page is currently under construction and will hold links to recorded GOAL presentations in the near future. Some content exists currently, however there is more to come.

Thank you for your interest in the GOAL Class of 2021 projects. This year’s GOALies focused on mental health and wellness. You can find information related to each project team below.


2021 Projects

GOAL Project Overview – this presentation was given by Nathan Souder, Superintendent of Colorado National Monument – Coming Soon!

Mission: Resilience! Challenge Course – To help with life’s hurdles, we designed an in-park adventure experience for middle schoolers to develop resiliency skills. This mission will strengthen students’ mastery of six resiliency tenets while leveraging the power of your unique park resources to foster mental health. Completing “Mission: Resilience” will reveal students’ own superpowers, giving them tools to thrive in the face of challenges. Help the next generation of stewards view your park as a place of healing. Project team consists of Erin Borgman, Clay Hannah, Alanna Smith, and Sara Sutton.

Supervisor Toolkit for Youth Mentoring – So you’re supervising youth staff. Now what?

  1. Check out this Toolkit
  2. Carve out 15 minutes a week to meet

The toolkit activities focus on wellness, resilience, team building, and communication. Take time to engage with your staff. Take time to connect staff to your park. Take time to build the NPS staff foundation. Now what? Now, it’s time to mentor. Project team consists of Chris Amidon, Michelle Pizzillo, Kris Salapek, Susan Snow, and Ashton Williams.

Escape to YOUR Outdoors, Park, National Park, Public Lands!An experiential mental health and educational resource targeting ages 10-19 to encourage youth to get outdoors using an ESCAPE Room model. Small Teams are guided through mindfulness and physical and mental strength challenges; team members collaborate to advance to the next level on their way to ESCAPE-ing everyday life and getting outdoors! While navigating the challenges, small teams are welcomed to explore their local and regional public lands, or even just the backyard or schoolyard. Teams gain knowledge in natural resources, cultural resources, and mental wellness skillsets. Learn how this framework can be utilized within public lands: ESCAPE!  Project team consists of Diane Eilenstein, Sara Hammond, Erin Hilligoss-Volkmann, Terry Slagle, Kim Sykes, and Kelsey Taormina.

See Someone Save Someone – The purpose of the “See Someone, Save Someone” public awareness campaign is to prevent suicides within the NPS employee community, NPS gateway communities, and communities throughout the country. Through internal training and external communication strategies, this campaign will empower all individuals to recognize suicidal behavior and respond appropriately.  Project team consists of Gordon Cave, Corrine Fenner, Gene Freese, Michael Mencarini, and Justin Patino.

NPS Be Well Guide – Creating and maintaining an effective Health & Wellness committee at each of our NPS units is more valuable today more than ever within the service. The NPS “BE WELL” guide links information from multiple sources in a handbook format to help Health & Wellness Coordinators by bridging employee wellness through engagement, learning, & leadership. The successful role of our Health & Wellness Coordinators is at the heart of the NPS “BE WELL” guide: “Use it, share it, & help our employees BE WELL!”  The project team consists of Haley Allen, Marc Blackburn, Kelsey Johnson, Kevin Kavanagh, and Mark Krebs.

Healing Wings – The Healing Wings project shares how to implement a veteran-focused outdoor experience and service project at your park. Specifically, Healing Wings seeks to provide veterans and members of the military community with opportunities to “heal” bird populations through participation in team-based service projects such as bird counts and habitat improvement efforts. Project team consists of Chad Crumrine, Dave Krueger, Michael Loso, and Melissa Moses.

ASPIRE – This project engages youth and working age men in volunteer activities at COLM and on other public lands. The purpose is to reduce suicide rates in the park and improve community mental health by providing opportunities for community connection, positive social interaction, and a sense of purpose through shared stewardship of public lands. Project team consists of Julie Blanchard, Honeygirl Duman, Mark Franklin, Christopher Johnson, Alexa Miles, and Danny Romes.

Colorado Cares: Park Rx – The Park Rx program framework is focused on mental health for National Parks, nearby state parks, and surrounding communities. Parks will receive a framework to start their own Park Rx mental health program based on our model at COLM. Project team consists of Erica Cordeiro, Robert Harper, Matt Holly, Sierra Kraushoferr, Bill Manhart, and Fenn Wimberly.

The WellNest: a Guide for Emotional Wellness – Are you looking for ways to improve the emotional wellness of your employees? Our team put together a simple-to-follow guide for the National Park Service. It will help national parks take steps towards implementing, or improving, an Emotional Wellness Program. We talked with National Park Service experts and gathered information from many different sources. Using this information, we created a guide that will make it easier to utilize these resources to more effectively engage employees. We believe this guide can be adapted to suit the needs of many parks across the National Park Service. Join us in the ‘WellNest’!  Project team is Jessica Cooper, Moe Greene, Judy Lively, Owen Murnane, and Megan Urban.

Heal Your Heart – Going beyond the call to action for each employee and visitor who experiences the National Park Service: for too long, mental wellness was not at the forefront of our hearts. This is no longer acceptable. Our campaign is aimed at mental wellness and proposes solutions the NPS can directly offer towards a holistic approach to health of mind, body, and soul. Project team is Jeff Duncan, Khiet Luong, Perri Spreiser, and Hanako Wakatsuki.

Closing Remarks – this presentation was given by Gabrielle Fisher, Employee Wellness Program Manager – coming soon!

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