Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Field Notes

Things are hopping at Mount Rainier National Park! Summer is now officially here (the five inches of fresh snow at Sunrise on Monday notwithstanding), and every day exciting things are happening.

On Thursday last week, I traveled up to Seattle to attend the Student Conservation Association's 50th Anniversary Celebration. I got to meet the founder of SCA, who is still vivacious, energetic, and an exceptional speaker; and our superintendent, Dave Uberuaga, received an environmental leadership award. On Friday, SCA's Board of Directors visited the park, toured the Recovery Corps encampment in the Longmire Campground, and then joined us for a few hours of hard work on the Wonderland Trail reroute near Cougar Rock Campground. It's great to see the leadership of a group like SCA roll up their sleeves and pitch in on the front lines. (For a first-hand perspective, check out Kevin Hamilton's entry for June 23rd on SCA's blog.)
We're proud to be part of SCA's 50th anniversary, and pleased to have this unique partnership with them as we continue our flood recovery efforts. SCA's contribution is valued at nearly $700,000, and they have committed to raising hundreds of thousands in additional funds to support our programs as well.

Meanwhile, we were busy with several volunteer projects over the weekend, including Meadow Rover training at Paradise and Sunrise, which brought in a total of 49 volunteers between the two locations--good news for those fragile environments. Next week will be just as busy, with the first of our week-long wilderness trail projects and some family-oriented projects, among others. The Mount Rainier Recovery Corps will be working on four simultaneous projects on the 4th of July!

And let's not forget the dedicated corps of volunteers who were already part of our team before "Recovery" became one of our priorities. You'll see volunteers all over the park, working alongside our uniformed rangers, in the visitor centers and on the trails, helping to protect the park and serve its visitors, and having the time of their lives.
To all of you, thank you. And to SCA, Happy Birthday!

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