New Boots for an Unforgettable Journey
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step," coaches Lao Tzu's familiar proverb. This summer, a generous donation enabled dozens of Yellowstone-bound teens to take that step more prepared for the rugged environment they encountered. Long-time YPF partner Michelin helped outfit participants of two programs for tomorrow's Park stewards.
Since 2008, YPF corporate partner Michelin North America has equipped Yellowstone National Park's 800-vehicle fleet with fuel-efficient tires. This year, the company is also outfitting teens who are logging many Yellowstone miles on foot.
Michelin donated more than 100 pairs of Michelin boots—one for each 2014 participant in Yellowstone's service and education program the Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) and visiting teens from the Park Journeys™ program. For many of these youth, it's their first time experiencing an environment like Yellowstone, and some do not come prepared with adequate footwear.
Best known for designing tires that grip the road, Michelin works with top shoe companies it licenses to craft a line of premium footwear with superior traction. What started as a collection of on-the-job safety footwear has grown to include niche athletic shoes as well as outdoor boots like the ones donated to Yellowstone.
It's not such a big leap from tire to shoe design, explains Kelly Purvis, Marketing Manager, Michelin Travel & Lifestyle.
"Experts in ground contact develop tread designs for each type of shoe, based on the different types of surfaces the wearer will encounter. The outsole designs are inspired by actual Michelin tire treads."
The super-grippy footwear has been a welcome addition for the summer program participants, who are doing everything from maintaining trails and building fences, to hiking in wet conditions.
The contribution amplifies Michelin's annual in-kind and cash support for Yellowstone, and also aligns with their commitment to youth education. Michelin's Challenge Education Program rallies employees to serve as mentors and tutors in elementary schools.
"In that same spirit, we are excited to support the YCC and Park Journeys programs, which help kids learn about science within a special ecological system," said Purvis. "Kids come away from their life-changing adventure with a takeaway gift from us. We get to play a small role in this positive experience."
Learn more about Yellowstone programs for Tomorrow's Stewards.