Sunday, June 26, 2016

Mount Rainier Volunteers Tidy Up SR 706

You've seen those blue signs on your way to the Park crediting "Mount Rainier Volunteers" with adoption of a two-mile stretch of SR 706. Well, here they are, all kitted up and ready to go litter-picking! Left to right, stalwart team members Crow Vecchio, Claudia Page, Joan Hays, Jean Millan, Daren Sachet and Jim Smith collected six bags of trash which had accumulated over a mere two months from our last patrol.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Urgent: Deveg Volunteers Needed!

Do you recognize this plant? If you said "Self-heal" (wrong!), you need to join our Longmire Meadow de-Ajuga-fication Project to learn more about a rapidly spreading NON-NATIVE groundcover commonly sold in garden stores.

Yes, this is Ajuga reptans, aka Bugleweed. Visitors, volunteers and rangers walking along the Trail of the Shadows may have seen it at any time over the last several years and have dismissed it as Self-heal, a native species very similar in appearance. Consequently, Ajuga has spread dramatically, and now is choking out native species in an area covering at least 300 sq. ft. We need you to help us eradicate it.

We have to get it before it sets seed! Soon! Now!

On Wednesday July 6, we will gather on the porch of the Longmire Administration Building (the big stone building) at 9:30 AM. It's a very short walk to the site (about a tenth of a mile). There will be a quick botany briefing to assure that we only remove Ajuga, and then work will proceed on a grid similar to that used at archaeological digs. This will ensure that we get a high percentage of the plants.

It is fairly easy to pull, but many of the plants are tiny, so if you have latex or nitrile gloves, please bring them. For those tougher specimens, we'll have a few dandelion forks on hand. Volunteers should be able to sit on the ground or kneel, so if you have a pad, bring that as well.

Please RSVP to Crow at with the number of volunteers you'll be bringing.

Nisqually to Paradise, June 23-30

Click to enlarge

Everybody Loves The Parade!

It's almost time for the Eatonville 4th of July Parade and we need you to celebrate the NPS Centennial with a parade!

Yes, this year we're going all out to celebrate the nation's 240th birthday and the park service's 100th birthday.

Many of you will be working in the park that day, celebrating with the many visitors. But if you're not in the park, think about making the parade part of your (and your family's) 4th of July festivities.

This year we get to do more than just smile, wave flags, and give high fives. We are going all out and will be doing the BioBlitz Dance! Don't panic! You can do it. If this old park service veteran can do it, so can you.

The dance has a brief intro and then four parts (moves) taking a total of 57 seconds, then we move along the parade route and do it again. By the end of the parade you'll be experts!

Here is a video that will teach you the "required" first three moves. Please note: the National Geographic link given in the video no longer offers a download of the BioBlitz song.

The fourth move (Spotted Owl) was created by Annie Runde is unique to Mount Rainier (see below).

Park staff, volunteers, scouts and their family members are welcome to join. Employees and VIPs please wear your uniforms. If you don't have a uniform, dress to celebrate.
If you wish to take part, we usually gather on Pennsylvania Ave., near Lynch St., one block west of the football stadium at Eatonville High School.  The exact spot is different each year and is not known until we arrive.  Just look around for some ranger hats.  Please be there by 11:15 AM so we can get instructions and run through the simple dance once or twice as a group.

For more information contact Jim
Please join us!


Meadow Rover Review

Quick notes on a variety of topics!

Meadow Rover Training

Awesome success!  I enjoyed seeing all of you again and greeting the 50+ new rovers. We are going to have a terrific season.  Please check with the Sunrise or Paradise supervisors regarding the 1 Mile Solo restrictions...we are working on the waiver and should have details soon.

Left after training, the following items - let me know if they sound familiar!
   Ladies pull-over fleece L.L Bean
   Blue hard plastic coffee cup with lid
   Red neckerchief
   Spiral notebook with pen attached - lots of notes written but no name

Hike with a Purpose

Several rovers have inquired about combining Meadow Roving with "Hike with a Purpose".  This particular project involves back country trails and is not part of the Meadow Rovers duties.  However, it is another opportunity to help spread your love of this special place.  If you are interested, there is a previous blog on the topic or contact or myself.

Volunteer Agreements

If you were not at training, and have not as yet done so, you will need to complete a new volunteer agreement.  I can send you an electronic copy, or you may fill one out the first time you come to rove.

As always, keep on roving and thank you for all the help that is offered.

Maureen McLean
Coordinator MORA Meadow Rovers

Welcome - Mark Loper

Mount Rainier Volunteers!

The National Park Service Centennial year is in full swing and I'm happy to have joined the team here at Mount Rainier National Park. My name is Mark Loper and I am the SCA Centennial Volunteer Ambassador. I've been at the park for about 4 days soaking in the park's majesty. I've been working in Chicago at DePaul University for the past few years but nature called. I studied environmental policy and wanted to get back to my roots, working with people outdoors. Kevin has told me about the exciting volunteer opportunities available, and the great people that give their time and energy to the park. I'm excited to meet volunteers and hear your stories, passions and involvement at Mount Rainier. 
I'll be working with Kevin and our volunteer programs until June 2017. I'll try to stop by and say hello to as many volunteers as I can. 

Looking forward to a great year!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Farewell to Russ Gibbs

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Russ Gibbs, long-time volunteer and friend to many in Mount Rainier National Park. As you may recall, Russ was recently nominated for the Herzog Award for his outstanding service to the Park. Most notably, he participated in a wide variety of Natural and Cultural Resources projects, including amphibian surveys, spotted owl and harlequin duck surveys and pika surveys among others. Recently, he was also honoured by Pendleton Woolen Mills in their blog. Russ will be deeply missed by all who knew him, and especially by those of us who worked with him in the Park.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Volunteers welcome to join NPS contingent at Pride Parade

Hello, Mount Rainier volunteers! The National Park Service has decided to participate in the annual Pride Parade in Seattle this year, and has invited employees (including volunteers) to join the NPS contingent. Many of you live in the Seattle area and may be attending the parade anyway, so here's an opportunity to get involved in a more significant way! Below is the e-mail I received from our contact in Seattle. If you're interested in participating, please contact David Minaglia directly and he will give you further instructions. You are welcome to participate in volunteer uniform if you wish.

And by the way, if you love parades, watch for the imminent announcement of this year's 4th of July Parade in Eatonville, Washington, where we will also be marching!


Kevin Bacher
Volunteer Program Manager


We are sending this message to ensure that all who would like to participate in the Seattle Pride Parade have an opportunity to join us. We are still welcoming folks who want to support our GLBTQ community and our allies. 

This message is going out to our NPS colleagues throughout Washington State.  Feel free to pass-on to other interested individuals.

The Seattle Area National Park Sites are joining our Centennial partner REI for this year’s Pride Parade in Seattle on Sunday, June 26th.  REI has generously offered to let us join their group, both as a Centennial partner and to emphasize the relationship we have with them through the Outdoor Recreation Information Center in the Seattle REI flagship store.

We are inviting paid & volunteer, uniformed & non-uniformed staff to join us!  If you are interested in joining us in the parade this year, please reply back directly to David Minaglia [at].


David Minaglia
Outdoor Recreation Information Center
222 Yale Avenue North
Seattle, WA  98109
(206) 470-4060

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

MRNPA Work Party Reminder

From John Titland:

Here are the details of the Mount Rainier National Park Associates volunteer trails work party happening on Saturday, June 18th. That's next Saturday.

We will meet at the Carbon River entrance to Mount Rainier between 8:30 and 9:00 AM.  Our cars will be parked inside the gate, so drive through to the gate and park on the road shoulder.  Be ready to head out by 9:00 AM.  I have no idea what the project will be.  On Monday I rode my bike from the gate up the road to the Ipsut Creek campground, and then I hiked up the Wonderland trail about a mile. From what I saw there is more than enough work that needs to be done to keep us all busy.

If you plan to attend, please reply to to indicate that you are coming and to tell me how many volunteers you are bringing with you.