Monday, March 22, 2010

Jim and Carol Miltimore nominated for Volunteer Service Award

The National Park Service's highest honor for volunteers is the George B. Hartzog Jr. Award for Outstand- ing Volunteer Service. Every year, the award is given to one individual (or couple); one group; and one volunteer program nationwide. (Our own volunteers won the national program award in 2008 for their extraordinary commitment to the park, especially in the wake of the great floods of November 2006.) Park staff all over the country are encouraged to nominate individuals or groups whose contributions to the parks have been extraordinary.

This year, rangers at Mount Rainier have nominated Jim and Carol Miltimore.

In describing why the Miltimores were nominated, it's hard to even know where to begin. Since they began volunteering in 2005, they have been active in almost every part of the park's operations, including citizen science, archeology, curatorial collections, flood recovery, meadow roving, revegetation, seed collection, spring opening, trail construction and maintenance, and wilderness patrol and cleanup. Between the two of them, Jim and Carol have contributed 11,715 hours of service to Mount Rainier National Park.

The Milti- mores' work ethic is legen- dary. Nancy Hori, Lead Librarian for the Pacific West Regional Library, writes of one project they worked on together: "There is absolutely no way that this project could have been accomplished in one trip without all the work they did before we arrived and all their help while we were there. Carol also did amazing follow-up work which allowed us to totally finish the project without a major return visit. This seldom if ever happens. Usually a major library project like this requires several return trips or is never truly satisfactorily finished.... It is not often you have such dedicated year round volunteers. Once they became involved, in this library project they brought to it every ounce of their enthusiasm, dedication and tenacity. I am truly inspired by their commitment to making Mount Rainier a better park."

"Carol and Jim are not typical volunteers," writes Park Curator Brooke Childrey and Acting Chief of Natural and Cultural Resources Greg Burtchard. "These two truly love the park and work long days, for weeks on end, to benefit park programs.... Even though their schedule ostensibly is Tuesday through Friday from 8:00 to 4:30, Jim and Carol often are present and working when the curation building opens at 7:30, and they regularly continue working well into the evening long past its closing. At the close of the week it is not uncommon for them to work clearing trails for skiers in the winter."
Geoff Walker, East District Wilderness Ranger, points out that the Miltimores have also been active in the summer months, working almost full-time to patrol trails and assist with backcountry maintenance. For example, "they identified the location of buried lead-covered wires in the Frozen lake area. The wires were part of an old water system designed to pump water from Lodi Creek, in Berkeley Park, up to Frozen Lake (the water source for Sunrise) should Frozen Lake dry up before the end of the season. Most of this system had been removed. Jim discovered that the still-buried wires contained lead and needed to be removed. This has been a multi-year project, and Jim and Carol have personally removed over a thousand feet of wire, which has then been recycled."

"Before long," says Acting Superintendent Randy King, "they will undoubtedly have enough experience, and knowledge of the resources and operations at Mount Rainier, to serve as its superintendent! We have no doubt that, if needed, they would promptly volunteer. It is a pleasure and an inspiration to work with volunteers like Jim and Carol Miltimore. They inspire everyone around them through their tireless and selfless dedication and enthusiasm. They embody the spirit and mission of the National Park Service as well as any permanent employee. Their efforts are truly appreciated and valued."
The Miltimores' nomination will be reviewed by a committee in the Pacific West Region of the National Park Service and then, if selected, will be passed on for review at the national level. National award winners should be announced within the next month. Nominees will also be considered for further awards presented by the Take Pride in America organization.
Congratulations, Jim and Carol--and thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for your friendship and hard work!

1 comment:

Gene Miltimore said...

Congratulations Jim and Carol!

Best wishes,
Gene Miltimore