Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Meadow Rover Training details, first draft

Our annual Meadow Rover training is coming up on Saturday, June 28. For all of you who have been waiting on pins and needles for details, thank you for your patience--it's been a quirky Spring!

But--we now have a date and time (June 28, 2008, from 10:00 am -- 4:30 pm) and a location (the auditorium of the Jackson Visitor Center at Paradise). We have a draft agenda that I'm very excited about; it includes some of the regular topics we cover every year, including subalpine ecology and emergency response, but also some new subjects, including habituated wildlife and "Snow Roving." That last is especially relevant this year because we still have 13 feet of snow on the ground at the Paradise weather station! I'm also hoping to arrange a tour of the new visitor center under construction. Not sure whether I'll be able to pull that off, but it would be cool to give you a sneak peek.

I'm also excited that we have two Student Conservation Association interns this summer who are dedicated full time to the volunteer programs under our Division of Interpretation, including meadow roving. Their names are Kirsten Ronhold and Madison Jones. They will provide additional meadow rover training, mentoring, and shadowing opportunities throughout the summer, work on implementing your feedback, and provide better coordination of our efforts out on the trail. They'll plan an Advanced Meadow Roving course later in the summer (when the snow melts) including units on plant identification and geology. They'll also be working with our supervisors to expand the Rover program to other areas, including forest trails at Ohanapecosh and Longmire, viewpoints, and the shuttle buses that will be running from Ashford to Paradise on Friday through Sunday.

To get involved:

  1. If you haven't done so already, register for the June 28 training through our listing on Eventbrite.
  2. If you would like to participate but can't make it to the June 28 training, let me know and we'll make sure you're on our Meadow Rover mailing list for group or one-on-one training opportunities later in the summer.
  3. Download our 2008 Meadow Rover Handbook, with updated information about Paradise and Sunrise and helpful information to help out as you rove the trails.
  4. Consider carpooling to go green and save gas. Post a note on our volunteer discussion group to find a ride share partner.

For those who are unfamiliar with our Meadow Rover program, these are a team of dedicated volunteers whose mission is to hike the trails at Paradise, Sunrise, and other subalpine locations, assisting visitors and educating them about the importance of staying on the trails in these fragile environments. Search the blog for past entries, and check out our photos of Meadow Rovers in action. If it looks interesting to you, sign up, attend the training, and see if it's for you!

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