Thursday, January 19, 2017

Volunteer Blog moving to Tumblr and Facebook

The volunteer program of Mount Rainier National Park began this blog almost ten years ago, in the wake of the great flood that swept through the park in November of 2006. Since then, we've posted more than 1400 stories about the awesome work that volunteers do to help protect our park and serve its visitors!

At the time we opened this account, the National Park Service had very little presence on social media, so we were pioneering mostly uncharted territory. We selected Blogger as our blog platform for a variety of reasons including ease of use and our best guess that it would last as a website.

Over the years, the NPS caught up with us, and today, there is an official Park Service presence on many different social media platforms, including Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, Periscope, Tumblr, Twitter, and YouTube. Mount Rainier has official sites on most of these, under the name "MountRainierNPS." The sites follow guidelines established to ensure uniformity and best practice, including the use of an NPS arrowhead as the icon or avatar for each site, and the suffix "NPS" at the end of each name.

Unfortunately, Blogger is not included in the list of approved social media sites.

Therefore, over the next week or two, the volunteer program will be migrating to Tumblr instead. Tumblr allows 250 posts per day, so the transfer from Blogger will take at least six days to complete. When it is done, we'll post a note here, permanently directing you to the new site. Meanwhile, you can check out the work in progress at our new address, http://RainierVolunteersNPS.tumblr.com.

Notice that our familiar "RainierVolunteers" name is now "RainierVolunteersNPS," in line with NPS standards. Otherwise, you can expect the same information-rich content as before, full of stories about volunteer opportunities and accomplishments and photos of volunteers in action!

Meanwhile, our Facebook page, formerly "RainierVolunteers," now also has the NPS suffix. Follow us on Facebook at http://Facebook.com/RainierVolunteersNPS.

We've experimented with Twitter and YouTube in the past as well, so those sites may also transition to our new name. We'll keep you posted!

Thanks for your continued support over all these years,

Kevin Bacher
Mount Rainier National Park

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

MRNPA Summer Schedule


Greetings,

Mount Rainier National Park  Associates will be conducting six volunteer work parties at Mount Rainier on six Saturdays during 2017.   Four of those Saturdays of doing trail maintenance work and two Saturdays we will be assisting a park  crew in doing "resource management".   We invite you to join us for a day or two of volunteer work, donating your time and effort, but also enjoying the amazing place that is Mount Rainier National Park and the company of some great people.

Please mark your calendars to join us on any, or all, of the following dates.  The locations will be determined by park staff about two weeks before the volunteer work party.

April 29th - doing trail maintenance   A great day to get that first spring outing at Mount Rainier.
May 20th -  doing trail maintenance
June 17th - doing trail maintenance
July 15th   The Deveg  -  A day doing exotic plant removal (also known as weeding).  This is a surprisingly fun Saturday
August 19th - doing trail maintenance during the day, followed by a pot luck dinner, and an overnight camp for the volunteers who have worked that day
September 9th  The Reveg  - A day doing planting of wildflower seedlings to re-establish alpine meadows.  This may be at either Sunrise or Paradise.

I hope to see you on one, or more, of these MRNPA volunteer work parties.

John Titland
Volunteer Coordinator
Mount Rainier National Park Associates

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Leave No Trace Trainer Course

Mount Rainier Volunteer Brian Carpenter has announced that he will be giving a "Leave No Trace Trainer" course through the Mountaineers. The class is open to non-members and will include an easy overnight backpacking trip to Ancient Lakes in Eastern Washington. It is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, March 25-26. Participants will examine research covering recommended "best practices" and will discuss the spectrum of personal comfort levels, ethics and philosophies which determine how individuals make choices in the backcountry.  For more details, visit the Mountaineers' listing here: Leave No Trace Trainer Course. Course graduates will earn the nationally-recognized title "Leave No Trace Trainer" and will receive a certificate of completion. 

Fee is $40 for Mountaineers members, $60 for non-members. Participants must supply their own backpacking gear and food. Registration closes on March 20.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

2016 Annual Activity and Expense Report

Department of the Interior
National Park Service
Volunteers In Parks

Annual Activity and Expense Report
Mount Rainier National Park
Report Date: Nov 22, 2016
Fiscal Year: 2016 
   
Volunteer Coordinator and Park Information 
Total Volunteers: 2,154
Alpha Code: MORA
VIP Coordinator: Kevin Bacher
VIP Coordinator Phone: 360-569-2211
Coordinator Email: kevin_bacher@nps.gov 
   
Volunteer hours by category: 
 
Administration:  850.50
Campground Host:  2,761.50
Cultural Resource Management:  4,878.75
General Management:  369.00
Interpretation:  11,868.00
Maintenance:  26,834.80
Natural Resource Management:  11,740.20
Protection/Operations/Law Enforcement:  8,672.20
Training:  1,676.50
   
[Total hours: 69,651.45]

Hours no longer counted as volunteers:

Student Conservation Association Interns: 8,674
Geoscientist-in-Parks Interns: 3,652.5

[Total volunteer and intern hours: 81,978]
 
Volunteer Program Highlight
  
Mount Rainier had a banner year for volunteers, with more volunteer and intern hours than any year except 2007 and more volunteer numbers than we've ever recorded. Highlights this year include:
  • A trial Service-Learning program with Girl Scouts was very successful within our Education and Keep Wildlife Wild programs.
  • The Japan Volunteers-in-Parks Association, based in Tokyo, added 704 international volunteer hours.
  • Three SCA Community Crews, totaling 30 youth, contributed 2,400 hours.
  • Our ongoing partnership with the Washington Trails Association brought 6,615 hours of trail maintenance by 476 people. This accounted for about a quarter of the 25,142 total hours reported in Trail Maintenance, by far our largest volunteer program.
  • 29 Community Groups were active in the park, including several local schools, business groups, and Tourism Cares, which brought 100 volunteers to the park at one time for an enormous volunteer work day.
  • National Trails Day and National Public Lands Day continue to be some of our most popular drop-in volunteer days.
  • 11 SCA interns contributed 8,674 hours and 7 Geologist-in-Park interns contributed 3,653 hours (neither are included in "volunteer" totals).
  • Citizen Science volunteers contributed 3,574 hours, surveying amphibians, butterflies, wildflowers, and wilderness hikers.
  • Meadow Rovers set records with 7,877 hours by 186 people patrolling subalpine trails.
Training
  
How many people at the park require VIP Program Management Training: 18
   
Optional Information Regarding Housing VIPs and Campground Hosts
  
Number of Campground Hosts: 11
Number of VIPs housed in Permanent Structures: 30
Number of VIPs housed in Trailers: 0
   
Trailer Pads for Volunteers: 8
   
Other Information
  
Number of SCAs: 41
SCA Hours: 11,074
Number of Artists in Parks: 1
Artist in Parks Hours: 200
Number of International VIPs: 15
International VIPS Hours: 704
Number of Volunteer Senior Ranger Corps: 0
Volunteer Senior Ranger Corps Hours: 0
Number of Boy Scouts: 0
Boy Scout Hours: 0
Number of Girls Scouts: 11
Girl Scout Hours: 110
Number of Wounded Warriors: 0
Wounded Warriors Hours: 0

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Winter Operations/Snow Rover Training

Save the date for Mount Rainier Winter Operations training (also known as Snow Rover Training), which will be held on Saturday December 3rd in the Longmire Community Building.
 
Who: Those who plan on volunteering this winter.
When: Saturday December, 3
          9:00am-4:45pm (experienced winter rovers end at 3:45 PM)
Where: Longmire Community Building
What we will discuss:
·         Road Closures/Rules of the Road
·         Winter ecology
·         The 10 winter essentials
·         Winter driving tips
·         Radio protocol and procedure
If you wish to volunteer this winter, you need attend an orientation/training. Individual training takes up lots of extra time and resources. Please do your best to attend. 
 
RSVP to Mark Loper at Mark_Loper@partner.nps.gov

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Good-bye!

Another beautiful summer has come to a close and it is time for me to leave the mountain for the winter.  Once again, Meadow Rovers have given their hearts, souls, aching feet, and 6709 hours to the visitors at Mount Rainier National Park.  You have deputized at least 50,000 young hikers as caretakers of the flowers, distributed thousands of flower brochures, answered a million questions, and carried out way too many bags of garbage.  All in all, your total contacts numbered 137,237 visitors.

Sunrise roving has ended with the closing of the White River WIC.  Paradise on the other hand will be open to rovers with the following guidelines:

Weekdays

  1. Pick up radios at the Longmire museum which opens at 9:00.
  2. Return radios before 4:30.
  3. Be sure to sign out and sign back in.
  4. Solo Rovers must remain below Glacier Vista, below the Skyline/Golden Gate junction, and below the Skyline/Mazama Ridge junction.
  5. Weather pemitting, teams may do the complete Skyline.

Weekends

  1. Sign out and radios will be in the Rover Office in the JVC opening at 10:00.
  2. Return to JVC by 4:15 p.m.
  3. Check with rangers on duty or designated supervisor  as to needed areas of coverage.


On Any Given Rove

  1. Be sure that you are carrying the 10 Essentials at all times.  In an emergency situation, you may be out longer than anticipated.  
  2. Check the weather forecast before going out on the trail.
  3. Allow yourself enough time to return radios at the end of the day.  
  4. Alert your supervisor or JVC (dispatch is last resort) of anything that might delay you.
  5. Keep your radio on and listen for safety updates.
  6. BE SAFE – you are most important to our program.


UNIFORMS

If you are not planning to return to meadow roving, would you kindly return your uniform shirt? They can be washed and re-issued.

ARM-BANDS

Please oh please, check your backpacks for the elastic/Velcro armbands used during the cold days of May and June.  We started with 15 and now have 3.  They are much needed by the winter Snow Rover Program.  They can be mailed to:

Meadow Rover Program
c/o Kevin Bacher
55210 238th Ave E
Ashford, WA 98304

I have enjoyed making new friends and welcoming the returning rovers.  I look forward to seeing all your bright and shiny faces next summer!  Be safe and enjoy the winter.

Maureen McLean
Coordinator MORA Meadow Rovers

Monday, September 26, 2016

ROVING AFTER SUNRISE VISITOR CENTER CLOSES

Greetings to all the wonderful rovers.  It is hard to believe summer has ended and fall is here. Yesterday the Sunrise Visitor Center closed after I think its biggest summer ever! However, the road to Sunrise will remain open through possibly the end of October and rovers can still make a difference.  

While we truly appreciate your commitment to the preservation of Mount Rainier National Park, we are also concerned for your safety.  After the visitor center at Sunrise closes, there is a lack of back-up for our dedicated volunteers.  For that reason the following regulations will be in effect:

1.  SOLO rovers must remain within 1 mile of the parking lot/Visitor Center

2.  Those roving in pairs are limited to the following trails –
a.  Sunrise Nature Trail - .75 miles
b.  Silver Forest Trail – 1 mile
c.   Shadow Lake – 1.3 miles
d.  Frozen Lake – 1.5 miles
e.  Sourdough Ridge to Dege Peak – 2.1 miles

3.   When signing out, be specific about where you will be.

4.   Rovers must return radios and check-in at WIC before closing time – hours are 7:30 am to 5:00 pm daily until 10/10.

5.   If for some reason, there is no Law Enforcement Ranger or General Ranger available between White River and Sunrise, Rovers should return to the parking lot area and rove near by. 

These regulations will be in effect until the WIC closes on 10/10.  Roving after that will depend on the ability to provide back-up for our rovers.