Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Field Notes

  • Registration for National Public Lands Day is up to around 80 people--not bad for still being 10 days out! There's lots of room for more, so remember to sign up here, either for a work project, or for the evening barbecue and celebration, or both.
  • Thank you to all of our sponsors! Numerous local businesses are helping us make National Public Lands Day exceptional. Partners so far include the Student Conservation Association, National Parks Conservation Association, Washington's National Park Fund, Washington Trails Association, Mountaineers, REI, Mount Rainier Guest Services, International Mountain Guides, Ranger Doug's Enterprises, Starbucks, HSBC Bank, Nature Valley, Glacier Water Company, PCC Natural Markets, and Columbia Crest School.
  • Documented volunteers numbers are now up to 1,529 individuals who have contributed 56,773 hours of service. (Why do I keep saying "documented hours?" Many volunteers are still working, and won't turn in their hours till next month. Some have yet to turn in their records for August. Some turn in their hours in one lump sum at the end of the year. A few have to be reminded a time or two before their numbers come in. So, the total will definitely be higher... but we're already more than 600 individuals, and almost 13,000 hours, over last year's totals through September 30!)
  • Statistics quantifying the work we've done are hard to track. For instance, I asked Trails Foreman Carl Fabiani a few days ago, "how many miles of trail have we repaired this year?" He looked at me quizically and said, "260?" Every trail in the park has had work this year, though obviously, some more than others. SCA's Mount Rainier Recovery Initiative, alone, has documented 31,970 feet of brushing... 59,560 feet of raking... 2,410 feet of tread repaired... 7,328 feet of side ditches cleared... 1,127 drains cleared... 8 retaining walls constructed... more than 104 stumps pulled... 23,157 invasive plants pulled... and 222 road culverts cleared. What do these numbers really mean? I have no idea. But they certainly sound impressive.
  • Speaking of accomplishments, here's a (very) preliminary summary of our volunteer program's highlights this year.
  • In the larger context, here's a PowerPoint presentation about Mount Rainier's flood recovery efforts, including the work completed by both park staff and volunteers. (Warning: It's 26.2 megabytes in size.)
  • And finally, for those of you planning to join our end-of-season projects on National Public Lands Day, here's a little teaser of something you might see on the trail that day... it's just one of many surprises that we have planned throughout the day for those who participate. See you there!

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