Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Volunteers will work on trails, planting at Mount Rainier on National Public Lands Day, September 25 – Entrance Fees to be Waived

September 21, 2010
For Immediate Release
Kevin Bacher, Volunteer and Outreach Program Manager
360-569-2211 ext. 3385, Kevin_Bacher@nps.gov

On National Public Lands Day, Saturday, September 25, 2010, more than a hundred volunteers will assemble at Mount Rainier National Park to plant native plants and work on completing repairs to the Glacier Basin Trail. Volunteers will also conduct general maintenance around the Longmire Volunteer Campground in preparation for winter. The work day will cap a highly successful season in which more than a thousand volunteers have contributed to the protection of Mount Rainier National Park’s natural and cultural treasures and helped serve its visitors.

Members of the public are invited to join in the day’s work. The National Parks Conservation Association, the Washington Trails Association, Evergreen State College, and the T’Kope Kwiskwis Lodge of the Boy Scouts of America will also participate.

National Public Lands Day is an annual celebration of public involvement in the stewardship of America’s national, state, and local parks and forests. More than 120,000 individuals are expected to participate in events all over the country. In recognition of this, entrance fees will be waived at all national parks for the day. Volunteers will receive an additional coupon for free admission on a day of their choice.

National Public Lands Day volunteers will register at the Longmire Museum, on the south side of Mount Rainier National Park, by 9:00 a.m. and then continue on to Paradise. Volunteers throughout the months of September and October have been helping park crews to plant 120,000 native plants on the site of the old Jackson Visitor Center, which was replaced in 2008. Meanwhile, at White River Campground, in the northeast corner of the park, volunteers will join crew leaders at 9:00 a.m. to rebuild sections of the Glacier Basin Trail that were damaged by flooding in November 2006.

Volunteers should come prepared for cool, wet weather, with warm clothing, rain gear, sturdy footwear, and gloves. If the weather is nice, sunglasses, sunscreen, and hats are recommended. Volunteers should also bring water, snacks, and a lunch.

A coalition of nonprofit organizations and corporations has supported volunteer efforts at Mount Rainier throughout the summer. The National Parks Conservation Association coordinates National Public Lands Day and leads efforts to increase public awareness and understanding of issues facing northwest parks. Washington Trails Association members and crew leaders have led projects at Glacier Basin and elsewhere. Student Conservation Association interns and crews serve as volunteer coordinators and on trail teams. Washington’s National Park Fund supports volunteer and outreach efforts through fundraising. Corporations including REI and Starbucks have contributed with both financial and on-the-ground volunteer support. Hundreds of individuals and dozens of groups have invested their time and sweat, in partnership with park employees, to build and patrol trails, assist and educate visitors, conduct citizen science research, plant native plants, provide roadside assistance to visitors, maintain backcountry campsites, and catalogue historic records. Last year, 1,865 volunteers contributed 72,231 hours of service at Mount Rainier, an effort valued at $1.5 million.

Information about Mount Rainier National Park’s volunteer program, including a list of open positions, a calendar of activities, and pictures and videos of volunteers in action may be found on Mount Rainier National Park’s website at www.nps.gov/mora, or on its volunteer program blog at rainiervolunteers.blogspot.com.

- NPS -

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