Get to know Ken and Anna Kirkpatrick, Land Trust Volunteers

When did you move to Teton Valley and how did you end up here?

We moved to Teton Valley in October of 2017.  Ken was born and raised in Pocatello, I lived in Boise and we met at Boise State.  After living away for years, in 2012, we were on a bike tour in Wyoming that went from Jackson, around Alpine and up Pine Creek Pass, ending in Driggs, where we camped for two nights on the High School lawn.  We rode our bikes up to Targhee and around the valley, attended Music on Main, and thought, Wow, this is an awesome place! Five years later, we retired, bought a house, and now it’s home.

How long have you been a volunteer at the Land Trust? 

We started volunteering in 2018. We looked up lots of Facebook sites on everything and anything Teton Valley, and the Land Trust just seemed like such a great organization to be involved with.

What is the volunteer project that meant the most to you?  

We’ve enjoyed doing the outdoor projects, which have mainly involved putting up and taking down fences. These projects have given us the opportunity to see up close how wildlife, habitat, and economic activity interact. From the roads and trails open to the public, you see only a small slice of what’s happening in the Teton River basin. These projects have also been a great way to get to know the TRLT staff, particularly Bill Dell’Isola and Nicole Cyr, and other volunteers. We also enjoy doing the Crane counts.  The TRLT staff have a way of making you feel wanted, and that in turn makes you want to volunteer with them!

We love your beautiful photographs that you graciously let us use in our communications, where is your favorite place in the valley to take photographs?

I love taking pictures from the Teton River.  It’s such a thrill to come around the corner and see a Mama moose and twins, Sandhill Cranes calling and flying above, Great Blue Herons walking the shore…the photo ops are endless there.

What season do you prefer and why?

Really hard to pick a season, but I’d say spring is incredible for the greening of the aspens, the willows coming into bloom, the tiny wildflowers that just amaze you with their intricate details.  Then again, autumn is the exciting return of the Sandhill Cranes and the thrill of seeing them flying and walking around the fields. We never tire of their call.  It’s a toss-up!

Describe in one sentence why you think this place is so special:

There seems to be a unique balance in Teton Valley between recreation, tourism, agriculture, and country living that makes this place so special.