Thursday, October 28, 2010

2,016 volunteers!

I've just completed our annual volunteer report for fiscal year 2010 (October 2009 through September 2010), and am pleased to report that, once again, our numbers are up overall over last year. This year we had a total of 2,016 volunteers, up from 1,865 last year. That includes 1,491 people who participated as part of 51 organized groups, and another 525 who participated as individuals, up from 1,406 and 459, respectively, last year. Total hours: 73,990, up from 72,231 last year, a number unprecedented in the history of Mount Rainier National Park except for 2007, the year after the big flood.

Groups contributed a total of 29,546 hours of time, while individuals contributed 44,444. How great a number is that?!

We're excited about the growth of new programs at the park, including citizen science, emergency roadside assistance, and living history. We're also very grateful for the help we've received from numerous community partners, including Washington Trails Association, Student Conservation Association, Mount Rainier National Park Associates, the Tacoma Mountaineers, Evergreen State College, the Boy Scouts of America, and many, many others.

Of course, every little bit adds up, and the success of our program has as much to do with those dedicated individuals who came up half a dozen times to rove the trails at Paradise, or who were only able to squeeze one visit into their busy schedules but contributed half a dozen hours to our grand total. Whatever you contributed, you can claim part of the success of Mount Rainier National Park as your own, and that's a very good thing!

By the way, the non-partisan Independent Sector currently values an hour of volunteer time at $20.85 (the equivalent of a typical employee including benefits), so that 73,990 hours is worth $1.54 million. That's something to be very proud of!

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