Monday, October 25, 2010

Winter 2010 Newsletter

Paradise this afternoon. Let it snow,
let it snow, let it snow!
Thank you to everyone in our volunteer community at Mount Rainier who contributed their time and effort this season. The season's official numbers will be posted right here on Thursday (so check back!); we are anticipating reporting that the volunteer program continues to grow, with more than 1,800 volunteers contributing nearly 75,000 hours of service.

If you volunteered this past year, but have not reported your volunteer hours yet, you have just three more days to be included, so send me an e-mail with your stats right away!

Some highlights from this season include the opening of the Glacier Basin Trail, a National Public Lands Day with over 100 volunteers, and the retirement of Trail Foreman Carl Fabiani after more than 40 years at Mount Rainier. Our Citizen Science program continues to grow; we quadrupled our costumed interpretation program; Emergency Roadside Assistance volunteers returned to Paradise; and individuals and groups planted tens of thousands of native plants at Paradise. Meanwhile, volunteers continued patroling trails, serving visitors in the visitor centers, curating the park's historical collections, cultivating plants in the greenhouse, assisting climbers, building rock walls and rehabilitating campgrounds, surveying wildlife, and doing all of the dozens of other jobs that keep this park running, many of them behind the scenes.

Although most of our volunteer programs will be inactive until the snow melts next summer, there are still a few ways you can stay active in the park during this special, snow covered time of year.

  • Nordic Patrol. We work in partnership with the Washington Ski Touring Club to provide ski patrol services at Paradise, including marking trail routes and assisting visitors. People interested in this opportunity should contact WSTC directly at http://www.wstc.org/.
     
  • Visitor Services. Most of the work in our visitor centers, and on the trails leading snowshoe walks, is done by our permanent and seasonal staff. However, we can always use help! Volunteers help staff the information desk during busy times, especially during the school holidays around Christmas, and assist with snowshoe walks. Anyone interested in these opportunities should contact us well in advance of the winter season so that they can participate in our winter seasonal training in early December. In other words, let us know now if you're interested in helping this winter. Working as a Meadow Rover during the summer is a great way to get some experience toward helping out in the winter.
     
  • Greenhouse assistance. Our greenhouse is active throughout the winter, and we're always open to working with volunteers who are willing to commit to coming out on a regular basis through the winter to help us weed, pot, and care for our plants, most of which will be used on revegetation projects during the summer.
     
  • Curatorial library. Brooke Childrey, our museum curator, works with many volunteers to sort and store our archives, photos, and historic artifacts collections. Our full-time curator positions are filled for this winter already, but there are still possibilities for the right person to help with special projects on an intermittent basis.
     
  • Education program. Our curriculum-based education program works with many school groups in the spring and fall, and also has a number of curriculum-development projects underway. We're always looking for individuals who have educational background and experience to help out.
Keep up with current volunteer opportunities, and positions we're recruiting for next summer, by clicking the "current volunteer opportunities" link at the top of this blog, or by visiting our page on the Mount Rainier National Park website. You can also look for positions throughout the National Park Service on the website volunteer.gov/gov. And watch this blog for the latest news! Volunteer projects surface all the time, both short-term and long-term. We even offer internships through partners like the Student Conservation Association. We're also on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube and have an active online discussion group.

Keep in touch, stay involved, and we'll see you out on the trails!

1 comment:

katney said...

We had reason to benefit from the Emergency Road Service volunteer program at Mt. Rainier this year, and all I can say is thank you thank you thank you.