Friday, February 29, 2008

Getting Youth Outdoors

From the Washington Trails Association's blog:

"....Washington Trails Association will celebrate its fifth summer of Youth Volunteer Vacations this year. The youth program has grown tremendously over the last five years. This summer WTA has increased the number of youth trips and expanded to various locations across the state. High School students age 14-18 have the opportunity to choose to spend a week under blue skies in Eastern Washington, among dense forests in the scenic Cascade Mountains, admiring Mount St. Helens, listening to the ocean on the Long Beach Peninsula, or experiencing the amazing views from Mt. Baker...."

Other award winners

I got a list of the other Cooperative Conservation Award winners. Congratulations to all of them!

  • Southwestern Bald Eagle Management Committee (BIA Arizona)
  • East Bay Protection Working Group (FWS Texas)
  • Matanuska-Susitna Salmon Habitat Conservation Partnership (FWS Alaska)
  • Northern Forest Woodcock Initiative (FWS New York)
  • Penobscot River Restoration Trust (FWS Maine)
  • Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program and San Juan River Basin Recovery Implementation Program (FWS Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming)
  • Mark A. Benedict (NPS Florida)
  • Great Northern Environmental Stewardship Area (NPS Montana)
  • Hooper Bay Alaska Subsistence ATV Trail Project Partnership (NPS Alaska)
  • Mount Rainier Recovery Initiative of the Student Conservation Association (NPS Washington)
  • Tavita Togia (NPS American Samoa)
  • Alabama Hills Stewardship Group (BLM California)
  • Animas River Watershed (BLM Colorado)
  • Jupiter Inlet Working Group (BLM Florida)
  • Milsap Mill Tailings Restoration Partnership (BLM Colorado)
  • Restore New Mexico Partnership (BLM New Mexico)
  • Willamette River Water Trail Partnership (BLM Oregon)
  • University of Alaska Coastal Marine Institute/MMS Environmental Studies Program (MMS Alaska)
  • Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program (BOR Arizona)
  • Sparta Aquifer Recovery (USGS Arkansas and Louisiana)
  • Upper San Pedro Partnership (USGS Arizona)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Mount Rainier Recovery Initiative receives Cooperative Conservation Award!

I was making a final check of my e-mail at work about noon today, on my way out the door to go to a doctor's appointment, when I received a message titled, ambiguously, "Fw: Cooperative Conservation Awards Ceremony." The message had been forwarded three times before it got to me, with discussion about "who's going to attend?" and "who's going to pay for it?" My curiosity rising, I finally reached the original message, which reads in part as follows:

"As we discussed last week, I am in the process of sending out letters to the recipients of the Cooperative Conservation Awards. I need to know who the recipients are who will be attending the ceremony. The ceremony will be held on April 21, 2008, at 3:00 pm in the Main Interior Building. There will be a reception following the ceremony. There will also be a two-day workshop on April 22 and 23, 2008 for the recipients. The workshop will feature award winners sharing their experiences. Each recipient will give a 10 minute presentation and a chance to answer questions about their projects. I need project pictures (at least 15) from each project. We also need the correct spelling of the names of each recipient. Listed are the spelling of the names that will go on the certificates. If there are any changes, please let me know.

"I also need to know the name of the individual who will be accepting the award from the Secretary. Everyone that attends may go up on stage, however, only one will speak for the group and accept the award."

The names listed below the e-mail are:

National Park of American Samoa, National Park Service

  • Tavita Togia

Mount Rainier Initiative

Student Conservation Association

  • Jill Baum
  • David Critton
  • Willie Ehrenclou
  • Jay Satz

Mount Rainier National Park, National Park Service

  • Kevin Bacher
  • Randy King
  • Dave Uberuaga

The Mountaineers

  • Gina Ottoboni

National Parks Conservation Association

  • Sean Smith

Washington's National Park Fund

  • Eleanor Kittelson

Washington Trails Association

  • Lauren Braden

So, I haven't gotten the official letter yet, but it's clear that our volunteer program--in partnership with the Student Conservation Association and the Northwest Parks and Public Lands Storm Recovery Coalition--has been selected to receive one of the Department of Interior's prestigious Cooperative Conservation Award! "Everyone that attends may go up on stage," says the e-mail. I'm sure they're referring to the members of our coalition... but they're just representatives of the 1,724 people who actually volunteered their time on the ground in the park, of course. Can you imagine 1,724 people coming up on stage to accept an award from the Secretary of the Interior?!

Whoever ends up having that honor will do so, explictly, on your behalf.

By the way, the timing of this is really good. The Student Conservation Association is already hosting a Conservation Summit in Washington D.C. from April 24 to 27, called "Earth Vision: Actions for a Healthy Planet." Many of us are already planning to attend. From there, it's just a short hop across the Mall to the Interior Building...

Digging out Paradise

The News Tribune has a great collection of photos from our recent efforts to dig out after two weeks of heavy snow. Check out the complete set on their website at

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Climb Rainier to support outdoor youth programs

This from WTA's Signposts blog:

We've all heard the statistics that kids aren't getting out in the woods like they used to. One fantastic program that helps get urban kids out backpacking is the Big City Mountaineers program. This great, volunteer-driven national organization leads hundreds of urban kids on outdoor backpacking adventures in the Cascades and Rockies each year.... One additional way you can support Big City Mountaineers' programs is to join one of the organization's celebrity fundraising climbs of Mount Rainier....

The world-wide spread of our volunteer program

Mount Rainier volunteers, hello! Cheers, Aloha, Bonjour, Konnichiwa, and Здравствуйте!

Preparing to mail our Mount Rainier Recovery posters to almost 1400 addresses, it's been fascinating to me to see how widespread our volunteer program is. It's concentrated in the Puget Sound area, of course, but we have many, many volunteers in eastern Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, Hawaii, and points even further away. We have volunteers in Canada... Japan... the United Kingdom... and Slovakia.

With the magic of Google Maps, I was able to plot the distribution of our volunteer program online. Check out the full data at Here's a few screenshots, too. The one at the top of this post shows our world-wide volunteers. Clearly, we need to make some inroads into the southern hemisphere, including Africa, South America, and Australia. I volunteer to make a recruiting trip!

The second map shows our U.S. distribution. That's 37 states, plus U.S. Military and the District of Columbia. We're still missing Alaska, Alabama, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, Nevada, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and West Virginia. If you have relatives in those states, invite them to come spend a week volunteering with us this summer!

Our greatest concentrations of volunteers, of course, are close to home. The third map shows Washington and northern Oregon, with lots of volunteer markers engulfing Puget Sound, and stretching out along the highways into the Willamette Valley, Columbia Basin, High Desert, and Olympic Coast. Looks like lots of you could work at North Cascades or Olympic National Parks just as easily as here.

Wherever you're from, thanks for coming here! (Arigato, Merci, and благодарю Вас!)

Monday, February 18, 2008

A very successful poster party

The poster party on Saturday was a resounding success! Twenty-seven volunteers showed up (I was expecting 15), many of them as much as half an hour early. I'd barely unlocked the doors of the Education Center when people were already busy rolling and stuffing poster tubes. Despite the obvious organizational challenges, everything went very smoothly. It took a grand total of 5 hours, including a break for lunch, to roll, stuff, label, and sort about 1400 poster tubes! We sent boxes and boxes of tubes with people, to drop off at Postnet in Eatonville on their way home. Now it's Postnet's problem! They expect to get the posters to the store in Puyallup and on their way in the mail over the course of this week, so I expect most people will receive them next week.

Meanwhile, I am immensely grateful for all the help, and impressed (as I always am) by the initiative, creativity, resourcefulness, and can-do spirit of our volunteers.

Here's some pictures from the event:

Hard at work rolling and stuffing posters

The extra-challenging multiple poster mailers

Sorting and bundling poster tubes by zip code

Poster tubes sorted by zip code, waiting to be bundled
and packed into boxes for transport to the Post Office

Friday, February 15, 2008

Ready to stuff poster tubes!

At long last, our commemorative posters are ready to be mailed! About 15 or so people are planning to rendezvous tomorrow at 11am at Mount Rainier's Education Center to roll posters and stuff them into poster tubes.

If any of you find yourself in the position of organizing such a mass mailing, you have my sympathies! Here are some of the challenges:

  • Creating an organized mailing list. We have volunteers who've participated this past year directly through Mount Rainier National Park, and others who've contributed through the Student Conservation Association, Washington Trails Association, National Parks Conservation Association, and Washington's National Park Fund. Each has its own list of names in its own format.
  • Eliminating duplicates. How do you find duplicates in a list combined from multiple sources, when one list might say "Mr. and Mrs. John Doe, 1141 Main St. SE" and the next list says "Jane and John Doe, 1141 S.E. Main Street"?
  • Tracking down missing addresses. For many of our volunteers, we had phone numbers or e-mail addresses, but not mailing addresses. These had to be contacted individually to get the necessary information.
  • Confirming and correcting addresses. Many of our records are out of date--especially those for volunteers who've worked for us for many years, or who are transitory because of enrollment in school, seasonal jobs, or retirement.
  • What to do about groups? Many people came to Mount Rainier as part of organized groups: employee groups at REI and Starbucks, Boy Scout and Girl Scout Troops, classes at The Evergreen State College, groups from Audubon Expeditions Institute and the Tacoma Urban League, just to name a few. We usually have contact information for only the group leader. For each of these groups, we had three options: send a batch of posters to the group leader for distribution; have the group send me a list of names and addresses so we could mail the posters directly; or just send a poster to put up in the offices of the sponsoring organization. We have some of all three options on our mailing list.
  • Where to get mailing tubes? Not counting posters we can deliver by hand, we have about 1400 addresses on our list! That's a big order of poster tubes, and you can't just go down to the local office supply store and pick up that many tubes. After considering multiple options, we went with a company based in Missouri that has a contract with the Government Services Administration and had 18"x2" poster tubes on sale for 59 cents each. A darn good price.
  • How do you ship that many poster tubes? We needed to receive them by today, of course. That wasn't a problem for the company we bought the tubes from, but then they called us back and said that, due to the large order, they needed to be delivered someplace with a loading dock. That meant Longmire rather than the Education Center. But then they had trouble arranging for someone to actually deliver the tubes to Longmire... so in the end, we were rescued by our own warehouse manager, David Gunderson, who picked them all up in Kent when he did his weekly town run yesterday. The up side to all of this is that we got a large break on the shipping costs, and they even threw in a 2 cents apiece discount for our bulk order!
  • How on Earth do you mail 1400 poster tubes? Our little post office here in Ashford has never done such a thing before... and if you've never done bulk mailing, you should check out the regulations on the USPS website and see if you can interpret them! I've never seen more undefined acronyms and confusing cross-references. With the help of our sharp mailing expert here in the park, Mika Moore, we finally figured out that we needed to apply for a bulk mailing permit, get mailing bags from the post office in Puyallup, and sort everything by zip code. But meanwhile, I called the brand new PostNet business in Eatonville, and they offered to do the bulk mail for us, using their own permit for a fee, which was cheaper than buying our own anyway. They even printed labels for us. (We'll still need to sort by zip code.)
  • How do you write a thank you letter for a coalition of six different partners (NPS, SCA, WTA, NPCA, WNPF, and The Mountaineers)? At first, we were going to have separate letters for each mailing list... but it would have been a real headache to try to figure out which letter went with which poster, and besides, many of you participated multiple times and with multiple groups. So in the end, we finally agreed on a single letter, signed by everyone. Then the challenge was to compile signatures from everyone...
So now all of that's done, we have 16 boxes of poster tubes waiting to be opened and filled with several boxes worth of posters, I have a stack of mailing labels ready to stick on, and I've been printing thank you letters 100 at a time all afternoon so as not to burn up our printer!

Recruiting and organizing the volunteers to actually do the poster stuffing is the easy part!

Now, we have a huge job, but lots of people coming to help; I don't know how long the project will take, but we may finish early. Here's a thought for afterward:

The road to Paradise will not open until at least Sunday... so we're offering our free guided snowshoe walks at Longmire instead on Saturday. They'll be at 12:30 and 2:30 at least, and possibly more often. And, the weather forecast looks good, so consider coming prepared to play in the snow after the rolling, stuffing, and labeling is finished! We have about 6 feet of snow on the ground at Longmire right now.

See you all tomorrow!

Paradise Area Projected to Reopen Sunday, February 17

Mount Rainier National Park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga advises that the road to Paradise will remain closed at least until Sunday, February 17. The road has been closed to the public since February 7 when the heavy snowfall in the Cascades increased the avalanche hazard to the point that it was extremely difficult to keep the road safely open. At that time, Paradise had 189 inches of snow on the ground and continued heavy snow, followed by a wet, warming trend further increased the avalanche danger.

Over the weekend more than 10 natural avalanches released depositing heavy, dense snow in several areas between Longmire and Paradise. The park’s Road Crew began the slow task of removing the avalanche debris along with the new snow that had accumulated(up to 10 feet in some locations). Throughout the week they have continued to blow and plow snow to clear the roadways, the parking areas, pullouts and provide access to buildings. Other Maintenance personnel spent the week shoveling the deep snow from buildings, accessways, water and sewer plants, and hydrants and other facilities that have been buried.

Snow removal and cleanup will continue today, as well as getting the snowplay area groomed and ready for use. The last remaining hurdle is a satisfactory water supply test, which has to be confirmed by the State of Washington before reopening to the public can occur. We expect that confirmation on Saturday.

The park will be open to Longmire on Saturday. The National Park Inn is open with lodging, food, a gift shop and ski and snowshoe rentals. Snowshoe walks will be led in Longmire by NPS staff at 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Sign up at the Longmire Museum.

Businesses in the gateway communities outside the park will be open as well.

With a good weather forecast for this weekend, it should be a beautiful winter weekend at Mount Rainier!


Note: For more details and some great pictures of the heavy snow at Paradise, check out Mike Gauthier's Mount Rainier Climbing Blog.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Mount Rainier Recovery Initiative to offer new programs for volunteers

NPS/SCA LogosSeattle, Washington, February 13, 2008 – The Student Conservation Association’s (SCA) Mount Rainier Recovery Initiative had a very successful first year in 2007 and is now planning for 2008.

Following devastating floods in November 2006, “SCA responded by fielding 80 diverse young people in the park this summer to help rebuild washed-out trails, repair damaged campgrounds, restore vulnerable habitats, and supervise over 700 volunteers,” said Congressman Norm Dicks.

“Congratulations to SCA for its long legacy of public land conservation and, in particular, for the outstanding support in the recovery of Mount Rainier National Park.”

This year’s goal is to continue engaging as many public volunteers as possible, emphasizing groups, youth groups, organizations, and returning individuals. Program Director Jill Baum and Mount Rainier National Park Volunteer Program Manager Kevin Bacher will guide this process.

SCA will offer wilderness and project management training sessions beginning in mid-May to park staff and interested community volunteers, with an emphasis on public training opportunities in July and August. Training will include risk management, Wilderness First Aid/CPR, Wilderness First Responder (through SCA’s partner Aerie School of Backcountry Medicine), volunteer management (through NPS), team building, Meadow Rover orientation, Leave No Trace, search and rescue procedures, natural and cultural history, and, of course, traditional conservation work skills.

“The National Park Service has had a long-standing partnership with the Student Conservation Association and we are excited to offer our volunteers some new training opportunities,” said Mount Rainier National Park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga.

“Getting back to work again this year is an exciting prospect,” said Jay A. Satz, Regional Vice President for SCA. “There are plenty of opportunities to get needed conservation work done on the ground but also to offer volunteers a way to become even more engaged with their public lands, including becoming trainers themselves and advocating on behalf of our treasured national parks.”

Beginning in May, SCA will place 4 - 6 volunteers directly into key park programs. They will coordinate and lead volunteer projects in the areas of trail construction, meadow restoration, greenhouse management, interpretation, natural resource monitoring, cultural resource restoration, and maintenance.

Other SCA corps members will serve as a “response team” and will lead public volunteers and assist the staff of the park. SCA will again field high school teams, especially through the Seattle urban high school program, as well as Conservation Interns.

The park and SCA are also looking forward to working side by side again with members of the Northwest Storm Recovery Coalition, including the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), Washington Trails Association (WTA) and Washington’s National Park Fund in support of year two of the Mount Rainier Recovery Initiative.

# # #

About SCA
The Student Conservation Association (SCA) is a nationwide conservation force of college and high school volunteers who protect and restore America’s parks, forests, and other public lands. For more than 50 years, SCA’s active, hands-on approach to conservation has helped to develop a new generation of conservation leaders, inspire lifelong stewardship, and save our planet.

For more information, visit:

For more information about the volunteer program at Mount Rainier National Park, go to: or

For more information on the NW Parks and Public Lands Storm Recovery Coalition and the member organizations, go to:


Monday, February 11, 2008

Boeing gives $93,550 to support Washington National Parks

Funding Aids Student Conservation Association, other organizations in ongoing storm recovery

Seattle, Washington, February 11, 2008 – Boeing has awarded $93,550 to the Student Conservation Association (SCA), Washington Trails Association (WTA) and National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) to support the organizations’ continuing flood recovery activities at Mount Rainier National Park. Boeing gave the grant as part of the company’s commitment to environmental and civic engagement.

The grant will be distributed among the organizations to support volunteer citizen stewardship programs and public outreach and education. Each organization is focused on continuing to collaborate with Mount Rainier National Park on projects that are part of recovery efforts from the 2006 winter storms. 2007 was a successful year for the Park: it reopened to the public, many trails and campgrounds were repaired, and volunteer participation almost doubled, but the season ended with more work to be done. Mount Rainier National Park and this coalition of partner organizations are now planning for 2008, and the Boeing grant will help to fund their activities.

“Last summer, Mount Rainier and SCA’s Mount Rainier Recovery Initiative made significant progress in restoring public access to the park by reopening and rebuilding trails,” said Jay A. Satz, Vice President for Western Initiatives with SCA. “This generous grant from Boeing will support the continued efforts of SCA and other coalition members to repair more of the damage caused by recent severe storms and to build on Mount Rainier Superintendent Dave Uberuaga’s commitment to engage the public in the stewardship of the park over the long term.”

SCA will use $43,550 of the grant to support summer programs at Mount Rainier National Park, including programs to work with urban high school students in the Seattle area on restoration projects. SCA will work with public volunteers to reconstruct trails and bridges, control erosion and invasive plants, and restore damaged sites. The funding will also support public training in conservation skills to further develop a sustainable volunteer program at Mount Rainier.

With $25,000 from the grant, NPCA will host town hall and conference events to discuss how the federal government can sustain long-term access to national parks as recurring storm damage increasingly limits public access. NPCA will also redesign the Storm Coalition web site, conduct a media tour and recruit volunteers for projects to repair trails, restore bridges, clean campgrounds and remove invasive species.

“We thank Boeing for its commitment to the national parks of the Northwest,” said NPCA’s Northwest Regional Director Sean Smith. “Under-funded parks have a tough time responding to the sorts of disasters that may become more frequent with climate change, and NPCA looks forward to providing public education and leading volunteer efforts to ensure that our parks remain accessible to all Americans.”

WTA will use $25,000 of the funds to station a crew leader at Mount Rainier National Park. The crew leader will lead three trail repair work parties each week throughout the spring and summer to survey and repair storm damage.

“Having a WTA crew leader on the ground at Mount Rainier for another season is the difference between restoring public access to some of these trails, or letting them remain out of reach for yet another season,” said Lauren Braden, Communications Director for WTA. “The damage done to local trails from recent storms was unprecedented, and it will continue to take a lot of helping hands to put our public lands back together. There are many opportunities to do just that by volunteering for a day of trail maintenance with WTA or one of our coalition partners.”

# # #

About SCA
The Student Conservation Association SCA is a nationwide conservation force of college and high school volunteers who protect and restore America’s parks, forests, and other public lands. For more than 50 years, SCA’s active, hands-on approach to conservation has helped to develop a new generation of conservation leaders, inspire lifelong stewardship, and save our planet.

For more information, visit:

About NPCA
National Parks Conservation Association’s mission is to protect and enhance America’s National Park System for present and future generations. NPCA plays a crucial role in ensuring that these special places are protected in perpetuity by: advocating for the national parks and the National Park Service; educating decision-makers and the public about the importance of preserving the parks; helping to convince members of Congress to uphold the laws that protect the parks and in support of new legislation to address threats to the parks; fighting attempts to weaken these laws in the courts; and assessing the health of the parks and park management to better inform our advocacy work.

For more information, visit:

About WTA
Washington Trails Association is the voice for hikers in Washington State. WTA protects hiking trails and wild lands, takes thousands of volunteers out to maintain trails, and promotes hiking as a healthy, fun way to explore Washington. Perhaps you've stumbled upon us on a hiking trail, donning hardhats, wielding shovels, keeping your trail in great shape. WTA's volunteer trail maintenance program is among the largest in the nation, with over 1750 volunteers "giving back" to the trails they love every year and getting a good dose of personal reward in return. WTA also protects trails through lobbying and grassroots advocacy on issues that impact hikers, like trail funding and wilderness protection. We work closely with federal and state policymakers to advance hiker's interests in forest planning and new recreation projects.

For more information, visit:

For more information about the volunteer program at Mount Rainier National Park, go to: or

For more information on the NW Parks and Public Lands Storm Recovery Coalition and the member organizations, go to:


Paradise Road closed by snow avalanches

Notes from the park's Management Team meeting today:

"Warmer weather and rain on Friday and Saturday triggered natural avalanches at Christine Hairpin (10-15' deep) [just below the Comet Falls trailhead], 4 avalanche chutes on Glacier Hill [just above the Nisqually bridge], and other places along the road (a total of 10-15 events). At Glacier Hill there is about 300 yards of road buried, unsure of depth. At Paradise there is 5-6 feet of snow in the upper parking lot. The road crew did not go out on Saturday due to extreme avalanche danger. They began clearing the road Saturday and have gotten as far as Glacier Hill. They are awaiting additional rental equipment, including bulldozer which arrived this afternoon. They hope to reach Paradise by the end of the week, but it is unlikely that the road will open in time for the holiday weekend.

"The heavy snowis also causing damage to some buildings, including the stack on the boiler for the auto shop and a number of window panes.

"There was also a planning meeting this afternoon on the avalanche situation and contingency plans for the weekend. Tomorrow morning three rangers will ski up to Paradise from Glacier Bridge to do an assessment of the condition of the road, further avalanche danger, and whether snowmobiles could make the trip, and to fix the weather station. We're checking into renting snowmobiles from Enumclaw (the ones the park owns may not be suitable for this type of terrain). Goal is to get some essential staff up to Paradise on snowmobiles to check utilities. We're still working on getting WASDOT to come out and assist us with an assessment of the road and if the slides and generally diminished avalanche danger have abated our problem enough to reopen. It is very likely the road will not open this weekend. Park will contact registered group campers and tell them this. We will not make alternate provisions such as opening Cougar Rock to group camping, because there are no toilets there and because it would mean diverting some of road crew from road opening. We'll offer snowshoe walks at Longmire. Press release is going out today to update public about likely continuing road closure."

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Commendation from Representative Norm Dicks

The Student Conservation Association recently received a commendation from Congressman Norm Dicks for their outstanding work in support of our volunteer efforts last summer. Most of that work, of course, was completed by you, in many cases under SCA's direction.

"Congratulations to SCA for its long legacy of public land conservation and, in particular, for the outstanding support in the recovery of Mt. Rainier National Park," the Congressman says.

Click on the thumbnail to read the whole letter.

The race for vacations

From WTA's Signposts Blog:

"On Monday, WTA opened online sign-ups for our 2008 Volunteer Vacations....

"First out of the gate this year was Greg Friend, who signed up for our Carbon River Trip about 20 seconds after it first went online. Our weeklong trip to Bird Creek Meadows at Mount Adams filled up in just 23 minutes.

"Seven of our Volunteer Vacations are now completely full. Wow."

Unfortunately, this includes the volunteer vacation at Mount Rainier's Carbon River in May!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Poster mailing party confirmed for February 16

Thank you to all of you who have contacted me over the past few weeks to confirm your mailing address for our commemorative poster, recognizing the efforts of those who participated as volunteers over the past year! We are tidying up a few loose ends on our mailing list and awaiting our order of poster tubes, but are otherwise ready to begin putting the posters in the mail. With about 1400 addresses to send them to, however, we will clearly need some assistance, mostly rolling posters and putting them in the poster tubes.

So, please consider joining us for a poster mailing party! This will be a great opportunity to see your friends and fellow volunteers, and to make new friends with others who have participated at Mount Rainier National Park... and, of course, to get some work done at the same time. Here are the details:

WHO: Everyone is welcome. If you didn't volunteer last summer, come join us, learn about the volunteer program, and earn a poster for your efforts!

WHERE: Mount Rainier National Park Education Center: 55210 238th Ave E, Ashford, WA 98304 ("Tahoma Woods"; click the link for directions). To reach the Education Center, drive straight back, past the park headquarters building, through the gate, then curve left at the clearing to park by the Education Center. If it's very snowy, you can also park at park headquarters and walk 200 yards to the Education Center.

WHEN: 11:00 a.m. Saturday, February 16, until 5pm or we finish, whichever comes first! Late arrivals are fine if you can't come for the whole day.

BRING: Bring your own sack lunch (microwaves are available), and a snack or desert to share.

TAKE HOME: Your own Mount Rainier Recovery commemorative poster! See our earlier entry for details.

RSVP: Please let me know if you plan to come, so I have some idea of how large a group to expect. But drop-ins are also welcome!

QUESTIONS: If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me, or call me at 360-569-2211 ext. 3385.

See you in a few weeks!