Mount Rainier National Park's annual Meadow Rover training occurred on Saturday, June 27, with 61 rovers in attendance, including 38 who were brand new to the program. Welcome to all of our new volunteers!
Meadow Rovers patrol the trails at Paradise, Sunrise, and elsewhere, educating visitors about the importance of staying on the trails for the protection of the fragile subalpine meadow plants. With limited paid staff available to do this, Meadow Rovers are invaluable partners in the efforts to protect Mount Rainier's natural resources and serve its visitors.
The rovers heard from a wide variety of presenters, including Kevin Bacher, Julia Pinnix, and Curt Jacquot, who discussed the logistics of the program and shared ideas for creative communication and interpretation; Alyssa Herr, who presented information about habituated wildlife; Will Arnesen, who described subalpine ecology, revegetation, and trail maintenance; and Daniel Camiccia, who covered procedures for addressing law enforcement and emergency medical issues. The course took place in the Common Room of the Paradise Guide House, in cooperation with Guest Services Incorporated.
Meadow Rover Resources are online for those who would like to learn more! Visit our Meadow Rover project page for a wealth of downloadable materials, including our 2009 Meadow Rover Handbook. Copies of the wildlife and ecology powerpoints will be added soon, as well as an education video on informal interpretation. A free volunteer discussion group is also available, which includes an interactive calendar suitable for finding (or offering) carpool opportunities.
Even if you missed the formal training day, you can still sign up. Fill out one of our online applications, and then plan to join us any Saturday throughout the summer, at 10:30 at Paradise's Jackson Visitor Center or at 10:00 at the Sunrise Visitor Center. Experienced "Meadow Rover Mentors" have committed to attending these weekly meetings to help guide new Rovers in "learning the ropes" and gaining experience of their own.
Meadow Rover Mentors are still needed for dates throughout the summer. If you'd like to participate, please contact Nick Abel, and sign up online for the dates you're available at either Paradise or Sunrise.