Monday, July 6, 2009

Group and individual service projects are now available!

Mount Rainier National Park is now at full summer staff, and we're ready for your group volunteer project! If you're a member of an employee organization, a civic service group, a boy scout troop, a youth group, or a garden club and would like to spend a day or a weekend working in partnership with us to protect your national park, now is the time to give us a call.

We now have projects ready to go in the following areas:

  • Trail maintenance: Spend a day brushing trails, setting water bars, and repairing erosion. We'll provide the tools and the project leader, you provide the muscle! Trail work is needed near Longmire and Paradise, on the Wonderland Trail, at Carbon River, along the Westside Road, and at Glacier Basin. We can work with groups of any size, though larger groups will likely be broken into smaller groups (of ten or less each), under the leadership of our trail crews and our summer Trails Volunteer Coordinator, Colum Lang. This opportunity is appropriate for older teens and adults.
  • Revegetation: Help us restore the beautiful subalpine meadows at Paradise! Two major revegetation weekends are already on our calendar and coming up quickly, July 11-12 and July 18-19. 56,000 plants need to be put into the ground in very short order! Other project dates are available throughout the summer and early fall. This project is perfect for large groups of all ages.
  • Seed Collection and Exotic Plant Removal: In addition to putting plants into the ground, we also need to pull out the plants that don't belong: oxeye daisies, non-native thistles, knotweed, and other plants that displace the beautiful flowers and grasses that ought to be here. In addition, as the native plants reach maturity, we need to collect their seeds to grow in the greenhouse for future planting. These projects are perfect for small groups! Seed collection is best for adults, but kids are perfect for yanking weeds.
  • Campground Restoration: We've made dramatic progress toward restoring the historic Longmire Campground for use by volunteers. Already, we have about 30 sites roughed-out, in addition to eight platform tents and a shower building. More work needs to be done, however! Site improvement remains, including lining trails and campsites with river rocks, scattering windfall, excavating historic rockworks from the moss, and replacing picnic tables. These projects are perfect for families of all ages.
  • Special Projects: In addition to the major categories listed above, consider choosing from one of the special, one-time projects on our work list. Join us for Keep Wildlife Wild Weekend, for example, on July 25! Other projects include removal of old telephone cables from wilderness areas along the Ohanapecosh River; improvement of our new properties along the Carbon River; construction of picnic tables; and cleanup of roadside debris on Forest Service land adjacent to the park. Have other ideas? Let us know--we'd love to work with you!
  • Consider Camping Out: As you plan your trip to Mount Rainier, consider the option of camping with your group in the Longmire Campground. We have individual and group campsites ready for you to use, along with platform tents and a bath house with hot showers that are available only to volunteers. A group fire ring provides a perfect spot for your group to relax either before or after your project. All of these services are offered free as part of your service experience!

What About Individuals? Lots of opportunities are available for individuals as well. Start by reviewing the options on our volunteer calendar at the top of this page. Click on any opportunity to learn more and to sign up online. Here are some of the options currently available:

  • Join our scheduled revegetation weekends and help us plant 56,000 seedlings at Paradise!
  • Sign up to help us Keep Wildlife Wild and gather observations about habituated wildlife.
  • Join a trail crew sponsored by the Washington Trails Association, and help rebuild the Glacier Basin Trail, destroyed by flooding in 2006.
  • Participate in a work crew organized by the Mount Rainier National Park Associates, visiting monthly throughout the summer to help with trail work and revegetation.
  • If you'd like to contribute on an ongoing basis, become a Meadow Rover, a historic interpreter, or a member of our Citizen Science Team. Our new Citizen Science Coordinator, Caitlin Kenney, will be sending out a schedule for training and research projects within the next week or two.
  • Individuals are welcome to help with our park seed collection, revegetation, exotic plant removal, and greenhouse rangers. Drop us a note any time and we'll put you in touch with our new Plant Ecology Volunteer Coordinator, Sarah Rosenthal, who will help you to coordinate your schedule with theirs. Or, if you have trade skills, especially carpentry, we'll connect you with our maintenance and carpentry rangers and put you to work helping to restore historic structures and rebuild backcountry cabins!
  • Join us any time for drop-in historic restoration work in the Longmire Campground--just let us know when you're coming and we'll put you to work!
  • Finally, mark National Public Lands Day on your calendar, September 26: A full day of projects of all kinds that will wrap up another successful season of volunteer partnerships at Mount Rainier National Park!

Give us a call or send us a note
There are no shortage of opportunities for both individuals and groups. Contact us any time to become one of our valuable partners. Call Kevin Bacher or Nick Abel at 360-569-2211 ext. 3385, or send an e-mail to See you out on the trails!

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