Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Blogging from San Francisco

Maggie Tyler, Volunteer Program Manager at Olympic National ParkI'm back in San Francisco this week, helping to present volunteer program training at Golden Gate National Recreation Area. This is a training exercise as well, as we'll be offering the same training at Mount Rainier at the end of May (on the 28th and 29th). Unfortunately, I've secumbed to a virus of some kind, and have spent the second day of training laid up in bed feeling miserable while the others in our group meet on the waterfront near Fort Point, with a magnificent view of the Golden Gate Bridge under sunny skies and 65 degree temperatures! Oh well.

Tomorrow evening I head home... but first, my fellow volunteer program managers and I will spend the morning reviewing applications for Special Project Funding in support of volunteer programs throughout the Pacific West Region of the National Park Service. There are some very creative ideas out there--community VIP coordinators, oral history projects, paleontology interns, tribal partnerships--as well as a lot of well-deserving everyday needs--radios, rain gear, fleece vests, and backpacks. I look forward to reading through the proposals. From here, our top 10 projects will go to the national level, where some of them will hopefully get funded. The rest will return to our region, and we'll fund as many of the ones that are left as we can. Ultimately, we're talking about $158,102 for 30 projects in our region, any one of which would provide tremendous benefits for our parks through partnerships with volunteers. It's too bad we can't fund them all!

Mean- while, I'm working on a press release about our Cooper- ative Conser- vation Award; writing grant proposals; and working with my SCA counterpart, Jill Baum, to plan this summer's volunteer program. We have the first draft of a training schedule, so that should be ready to release soon. We've lined up funding and made job offers for ten Conservation Corps members who will work with supervisors throughout the park to organize volunteer projects. We're beginning to put together a calendar of activities for the summer--that should be ready to release soon, too. And we're already getting lots of calls and e-mails from people anxious to put those projects on their calendars. We'll try to get specifics to you as soon as possible. We appreciate your support!

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