Thursday, December 9, 2010

Volunteer contributions to Recovery Act projects

Every once in a while I get a request for information related to the volunteer program that leads me down a previously unanticipated trail toward some fascinating discoveries. I had such a request this afternoon, from a coworker looking for the amount of contribution volunteers had made toward the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, more commonly known as ARRA, the Recovery Act, or the "Stimulus Bill."

We have had a total of 16 ARRA projects at Mount Rainier, most of which employed people without any volunteer assistance (replacing electrical lines, for example, or building slurry walls along the Nisqually River for flood protection). But two of the projects did include volunteers: the construction of an accessible trailhead at Paradise in 2009, and trail reconstruction at Glacier Basin and Carbon River. Volunteer contributions to the trail projects, especially, have been substantial, and have allowed us to get more done, in less time, and with the partnership of hundreds of members of our community. Here are the numbers I came up with:

ADA Trail Construction at Paradise
Total volunteer hours: 720
Total volunteers: 9
Youth* hours: 710
Youth volunteers: 8

Major partners:
Volunteer value**: $15,012
Japan Volunteers in Parks Association (550 hours, 6 youth)

* "Youth," for these purposes, are volunteers under the age of 25.
**Volunteer value is based on an equivalent rate of $20.85/hour to for salary and benefits, as estimated by the non-partisan group Independent Sector.

Wonderland Trail at Carbon River
Total volunteer hours: 7,041
Total volunteers: 108
Youth hours: 5,664
Youth volunteers: 50
Volunteer value: $146,805
Major partners:
Washington Conservation Corps (5,640 hours, 48 youth)
Washington Trails Association (413 hours, 2 youth*)
Sierra Club (960 hours, no youth)

*Youth numbers for WTA and Sierra Club are estimated.

Glacier Basin Trail
Total volunteer hours: 39,143
Total volunteers: 1,281
Youth hours: 28,052
Youth volunteers: 312
Volunteer value: $816,132 (!)

Major partners:
Washington Trails Association (10,531 hours, 100 youth)
Student Conservation Association (7,822 hours, 63 youth)
Washington Conservation Corps (15,620 hours, 60 youth)
Northwest Youth Corps (2,195 hours, 45 youth)
Boy Scouts of America (450 hours, 32 youth)
Earthcorps (1,512 hours, 21 youth)
Mount Rainier National Park Associates (346 hours, no youth)

Interesting note: The flood repair projects at Carbon River and Glacier Basin used $986 thousand in ARRA funding (for staff, equipment, supplies, etc.). The total value of volunteer contributions to these projects is $963 thousand. We've basically doubled our money with the help of volunteers!

These are fantastic numbers. Thanks, everyone, for all the hard work that went into generating them -- and all the great things that were accomplished with the time.

1 comment:

LVRC for Volunteer Work Sydney said...

Wow! Your volunteer base is amazing! Let us know if any of you lovely volunteers feel like doing some Volunteer Work in sunny Sydney!

LVRC, Sydney Australia