Friday, January 16, 2009

Winter volunteer opportunities

I had an inquiry recently about winter volunteer opportunities, so this is probably a good time to address again that very common question. As you might guess, there aren't many volunteer opportunities in the winter, simply because everything's buried in snow. However, there are a few. Here's a quick summary:

- Nordic Patrol. We work in partnership with the Washington Ski Touring Club to provide ski patrol services at Paradise, including marking trail routes and assisting visitors. People interested in this opportunity should contact WSTC directly at

- Visitor center and snowshoe walks. Most of the work in our visitor centers, and on the trails leading snowshoe walks, is done by our permanent and seasonal staff. However, there are always busy times like the Christmas holidays when we're short staffed and welcome the help of volunteers. Anyone interested in these opportunities should contact us well in advance of the winter season so that they can participate in our winter seasonal training in early December. In other words, it's too late for this year, but it's not too soon to make contact to express interest for next year. Working as a Meadow Rover during the summer is a great way to get some experience toward helping out in the winter.

- Greenhouse assistance. Our greenhouse is active throughout the winter, and we're always open to working with volunteers who are willing to commit to coming out on a regular basis through the winter to help us weed, pot, and care for our plants, most of which will be used on revegetation projects during the summer.

- Curatorial library. Brooke Childrey, our museum curator, works with many volunteers to sort and store our archives, photos, and historic artifacts collections. Our full-time curator positions are filled for this winter already, but there are still possibilities for the right person to help with special projects on an intermittent basis through the winter.

- Education program. Our curriculum-based education program works with many school groups in the spring and fall, and also has a number of curriculum-development projects underway. We're always looking for individuals who have educational background and experience to help out.

All of these opportunities, as well as the summer positions we're already recruiting for, are posted on our NPS website at

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