Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Make that 180+ volunteers... and 29,500 plants!

We're still gathering statistics from National Public Lands Day, which is a little more complicated than usual this year because we had projects in three different locations (Longmire, Paradise, and Glacier Basin), and I'm still waiting for final numbers from the crew leaders. But I spoke with Will Arnesen at Paradise yesterday and he confirmed that at that site alone, 151 people had signed in, and that those 151 volunteers had planted 29,500 plants! Those are amazing numbers, folks! We've never had a volunteer project in the history of this park, so far as we know, that has attracted so many people all at once.

And if there were any project that needed that much effort, it was (is) the planting project at Paradise! We have a total of 130,000 plants to put into the ground this fall before snow drives us out of Paradise. We're obviously not going to accomplish that in one weekend, but we're also not going to manage it with only our full-time park planting crew. Together, we can get it done!

We have Middle School students coming up this week, if the weather doesn't drive them away, and REI employees next weekend. Saturday October 3 is an open planting day for anyone who wants to help! Will even has tents coming this week that will allow his crew--and any intrepid volunteers--to keep planting even if it snows. (It'll be in-tents!) We'll hope for weather as nice as last weekend. But if the weather's poor, dress warmly, bring hot cocoa, wear gloves--but still come. The plants have to get into the ground!

Meanwhile, THANK YOU to all of you who participated on National Public Lands Day. We had at least 30 people on the Bench Lake and Fourth Crossing trails and in the Longmire Campground, and probably a few dozen over at Glacier Basin, so that's more than 200 of you parkwide. You guys are awesome!

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