Saturday, May 3, 2008

May 2nd Update

I sent out this update to our mailing list last evening, but several people responded that their e-mails had not included the embedded links. Here is the complete update, with all of the links included:

Hello friends,

Now that it's May, the snow has begun melting all over Mount Rainier National Park, and our staff has moved into high gear planning for another busy summer. We still have a lot of flood recovery work to complete, as well as all the regular jobs that volunteers are so important to help with. While many of our plans are still tentative, now is the time to start thinking about how volunteering will fit into your calendar this year! Here is a summary of some of the resources on our website to help you plan.

Congratulations are in order! Mount Rainier's volunteer program has recieved two major awards this spring: first, the Department of the Interior's Cooperative Conservation Award , presented on April 21 for our partnerships with the Student Conservation Association, Washington Trails Association, National Parks Conservation Association, Washington's National Park Fund, and The Mountaineers; and second, the George B. Hartzog Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service , the highest honor given for volunteer service by the National Park Service, which will be presented on May 8! These awards are a testament to your incredible support of Mount Rainier, both in the past year while we've recovered from the floods of 2006, and over the decades leading up to the present. Thank you and congratulations!

How to Get Involved:
Here's a quick summary of your options, from short-term projects to long-term assignments. Some highlights:
- Meadow Rovers are needed for the summer months. Training for new volunteers will be June 28.
- The Mount Rainier Recovery Initiative will start up again in mid-June, when some of the snow melts. Watch our calendar for projects you can sign up for!
- The Washington Trails Association already has low elevation projects on their calendar that you can sign up for.
- A Volunteer Program Assistant is needed to help keep up with paperwork, correspondence, and projects.
- Watch for more! and keep in mind, too, that we're not the only ones who need help.

Volunteers are welcome to join us for staff training! Click here for a collection of tentative training schedules.

Upcoming Events:
- May 10: Spring Meadow Rover gathering
- May 16: Paradise Inn reopening (You can also find a link to a sneak peek of the new visitor center on our blog!)
- May 16: Digital Photography Workshop
- May 28-29: Volunteer Program Management Training
- June 7: National Trails Day: Watch for details to come!
- June 27: Digital Photography Workshop
- June 28: Meadow Rover Training
- September 27: National Public Lands Day
- Check out our complete calendar for more events!

Volunteer Surveys:
157 of you responded to our volunteer survey this winter, which has yielded a wealth of information. We're still sorting through it, but here's a link to some of the preliminary conclusions. [UPDATED: Here's the link.] Watch our blog for more information as we sift through it.

Don't forget our photo page on Picasa! Here you can find lots of pictures of volunteers in action. We'd love to see your pictures, too. Send us your best shots, or point us to your Picasa or Flickr page, and we'll link to it from our blog.

If you know of other news that ought to be shared with our volunteers, send me a heads-up... or, join our discussion group. Keep up with the latest on our blog , and watch for our first newsletter of the season in a few weeks!

Kevin Bacher
Volunteer Program Manager
360-569-2211 ext. 3385

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