Friday, May 14, 2010

Volunteer Newsletter: May 2010

We are enjoying a beautiful sunny day at Longmire today. It's got us excited for the upcoming summer and all the projects taking place in the park. We anticipate even larger numbers of volunteers than last year, and have a wider range of volunteer projects available to choose from than ever before! No matter what type of volunteering you are interested in, long term vs short term, individual or group, backcountry or frontcountry, we have many opportunities for you to help protect the beautiful natural and cultural resources of Mount Rainier National Park and to help serve its visitors.

Check out the link at the top of this blog for a calendar of activities and full details on our summer volunteer schedule, including upcoming training opportunities. In addition, the Washington Trails Association (WTA) and the Mount Rainier National Park Associates (MRNPA) are two partner organizations that schedule day long projects and even week long vacations. The WTA will announce more dates as we get further into the summer season so check their site or our blog for updates.

Washington Trails Association Projects
Contact WTA through their website to register for these projects:

May 28 - WTA Trail Work Party at Glacier Basin
May 29 through June 5 - WTA Volunteer Vacation at Carbon River
May 30 - WTA Trail Work Party at Glacier Basin
June 5 - National Trails Day at Glacier Basin
June 5 through 12 - WTA Volunteer Vacation at Carbon River
July 17-24 - WTA Volunteer Vacation at Glacier Basin

Mount Rainier National Park Associates Projects
Contact MRNPA through their website for details and to register for these projects:

June 12 - Trail Maintenance
July 10 - Exotics/Alpine Gardening
August 7 - Trail Work/Campout
September 11 - Revegetation
October 2 - Trail Maintenance

Training Opportunities
Watch for details about these training courses, and how to register for them, on this blog:

June 1 through 5 and 8 through 12 - Seasonal Interpreter's Training
June 26 - Meadow Rover Training

Other Individual Volunteer Opportunities
Several dates are on the calendar for drop-in projects, with more being planned:
June 5 - National Trails Day at Longmire Campground: Help us get the Longmire Volunteer Campground set up for the summer by cleaning up storm debris and setting up platform tents. Meet at the Longmire Community Building at 9:30am.
June 19 - Hidden Jewel Volunteer Party: Join us as we work with our partner organization, Seattle Parks and Recreation, to clean up Camp Long in Seattle. Visit the Seattle Parks website for details.

September 11, 18, and 25 - Revegetation projects at Paradise and/or Sunrise: Help us plant native plants in the meadows above Paradise and Sunrise. We hope to be at both locations on all three dates, but that will depend on staff availability, so watch the blog for confirmation, but put these dates on your calendar now!

Group Projects
If you are a part of a group and/or organization that is looking for a project at the park we have several projects that require groups ranging in size from 5 to 100. Multi-day projects can use volunteers for a single day, or for several days at a stretch. Here are some options:

Rock Wall Restoration in Stevens Canyon:
Work alongside maintenance crews to pull weeds, remove loose and broken masonry joints, and wire-brush grout to remove moss from rock walls built by the WPA in the 1920s. Help us preserve this important historical and scenic resource! Crews will be working Monday-Thursday from now through June 3 and again from July 6 through July 29. Contact Dale Harvard at 360-569-2211 ext. 3388.

Cougar Rock Campsite Rehabilitation:
Join maintenance crews as they repair and rehab individual and group campsites in the Cougar Rock Campground. Crews will work Monday-Thursday from June 7 to July 1 and from August 30 to October 7. Contact Dale Harvard at 360-569-2211 ext. 3388.

Sunrise Snow Shoveling:
Every year, volunteers help us dig out fire hydrants, rock walls, steps, pathways, and other facilities that mechanical snow removal equipment can't get to safely. It's a fun way to spend a day in the snow at Sunrise, before the area is open to the public! Either weekday or weekend options are available (with a crew leader provided by our volunteer program). Dates are flexible in early to mid June. Contact Dale Harvard at 360-569-2211 ext. 3388.

Trail Maintenance:
Our trail crews will be building and maintaining trails all summer long, and are always happy for help from volunteer groups. Call Trails Foreman Carl Fabiani at 360-569-2211 ext. 3351 to set up a date and location for a project that meets your needs any time during the summer.

Native Plant Restoration:
Our revegetation crews will be busy in late summer and early fall planting native plants at locations in both Paradise and Sunrise. Groups of almost unlimited size are welcome to help, either for single days or multiple day stretches. Contact Will Arnesen at 360-569-2211 ext. 3374 to arrange a date for your group.

More projects are in the works, so even if you don't see something of interest to you here, give us a call (360-569-2211 ext. 3385) and let us connect your group with a project that will make a real difference at Mount Rainier National Park!

Individual Openings
Would you like to volunteer for a longer period of time, or return regularly throughout the summer to help with an extended projects? We have many opportunities to choose from! Follow these links for details and to apply for any project that interests you:

Meadow Rover: Help us protect the subalpine meadows above Paradise and Sunrise by patroling trails and educating visitors about the importance of staying on trails.

Plant Propagation (Greenhouse Assistant): Help grow plants for transplanting in the subalpine meadows.

Longmire Volunteer Campground Manager: Help us manage the campground for volunteers at Longmire. Hosts are still needed for the second half of the summer season.

Historic (Costumed) Interpreter: Act out scenes from the park's history, or help lead visitors by lantern-light through the trails at Longmire!

Citizen Science Team: Survey frogs, salamanders, and other species in the park's backcountry!
Besides the obvious benefits of volunteering at a National Park (time outdoors, meeting new people, sense of accomplishment), our volunteers get free entrance to the park on their days of service, as well as free use of the Longmire Campground (and its showers!).

We are consistently updating our blog with all the latest information and opportunities to volunteer at Mt Rainier. If you would like to get involved in any of the programs you have read about it this newsletter get in touch with either Evan Escamilla (360.569.2211 ext. 3312 or or Kevin Bacher (360.569.2211 ext. 3385 or

Thanks for your support of Mount Rainier, and we'll look forward to working with you this summer!

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