Friday, November 9, 2007

I received this e-mail this week from Chris Jarvi, an Associate Director of the National Park Service. It's another example of the attention our volunteer program is receiving throughout the Service, in response to the incredible effort our volunteers contributed this past year. Great work, everyone!!


I just wanted to let you know how very impressed I was with the tremendous job that you are doing with your Volunteer and the SCA programs at Mount Rainier as evidenced by the attached article [the most recent volunteer newsletter]. This summary really captures, with both numbers and scope, a program that is worthy of celebrating and holding up as an example to the rest of the National Park Service.

As you probably are aware, a $2.4 million increase to the park base has been proposed in the FY 08 budget for full-time and part-time volunteer coordinators to support an increased expansion of the VIP Program. It is estimated that 44 full and part-time volunteer managers will be provided with the funds requested. I'm sure that you know that MORA is slated to receive an additional $48,000 of this funding when the budget is passed based on your demonstrated need, program scope and complexity and proven success.

In addition, our Servicewide volunteer program support will be increased by $1 million to help establish training for first-time volunteer coordinators in the field; increase housing opportunities for volunteers, supply parks with recruitment materials; improve the current park volunteer recognition program; purchase supplies needed for the expected increase in volunteers; and reimburse volunteers for out of pocket expenses including local transportation, meals, and uniforms. With those increases, there is a high expectation that we will be achieving even greater numbers of volunteers. I think that our parks can and should look to programs like yours to see how volunteerism can be creatively encouraged and appropriately rewarded.

Thank you for the job that you are doing on behalf of Mount Rainier. Thanks for the opportunity that you are giving your volunteers to invest in something that they love and want to protect. And finally, thanks for serving as a great example of what can be done with a volunteer program using your creativity and the resources you were given. Hopefully, the Centennial Initiative legislation will be passed soon and you will be able to do even more for your park and the NPS volunteer program.


Christopher K. Jarvi, Associate Director
Partnerships and Visitor Experience
National Park Service

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