Thursday, March 25, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
"Carol and Jim are not typical volunteers," writes Park Curator Brooke Childrey and Acting Chief of Natural and Cultural Resources Greg Burtchard. "These two truly love the park and work long days, for weeks on end, to benefit park programs.... Even though their schedule ostensibly is Tuesday through Friday from 8:00 to 4:30, Jim and Carol often are present and working when the curation building opens at 7:30, and they regularly continue working well into the evening long past its closing. At the close of the week it is not uncommon for them to work clearing trails for skiers in the winter."
Geoff Walker, East District Wilderness Ranger, points out that the Miltimores have also been active in the summer months, working almost full-time to patrol trails and assist with backcountry maintenance. For example, "they identified the location of buried lead-covered wires in the Frozen lake area. The wires were part of an old water system designed to pump water from Lodi Creek, in Berkeley Park, up to Frozen Lake (the water source for Sunrise) should Frozen Lake dry up before the end of the season. Most of this system had been removed. Jim discovered that the still-buried wires contained lead and needed to be removed. This has been a multi-year project, and Jim and Carol have personally removed over a thousand feet of wire, which has then been recycled."
"Before long," says Acting Superintendent Randy King, "they will undoubtedly have enough experience, and knowledge of the resources and operations at Mount Rainier, to serve as its superintendent! We have no doubt that, if needed, they would promptly volunteer. It is a pleasure and an inspiration to work with volunteers like Jim and Carol Miltimore. They inspire everyone around them through their tireless and selfless dedication and enthusiasm. They embody the spirit and mission of the National Park Service as well as any permanent employee. Their efforts are truly appreciated and valued."
The Miltimores' nomination will be reviewed by a committee in the Pacific West Region of the National Park Service and then, if selected, will be passed on for review at the national level. National award winners should be announced within the next month. Nominees will also be considered for further awards presented by the Take Pride in America organization.
Congratulations, Jim and Carol--and thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for your friendship and hard work!
Sunday, March 21, 2010
My family and I visited Paradise yesterday--not for work, just to enjoy the beautiful day--but I couldn't resist capturing a few photos of the volunteers in action! Judy Kennedy and Judy Bell, who led the snowshoe walk my wife and I attended with a few friends, were just two of half a dozen volunteers on duty in and around the Jackson Visitor Center, including also Pete Sabin, Carol Quinn, and Jodie Hollinger-Lant. Kennedy presented an excellent interpretive snowshoe, and Bell followed our group as a "sweeper"--an important job with a large group like ours that included people with many different physical capabilities. Thanks, Judy and Judy, for a great day on the snow!
Saturday, March 20, 2010
In the meantime, a lot of planning has yet to be done, identifying projects, crew leaders, campsites, transportation, and other logistics. Because few volunteer opportunities at the park can accommodate anything close to the number of people who may participate, we'll be looking at ways to divide the group into smaller teams working all over the park, and in fact also on adjacent Forest Service land and with partners such as the Washington Trails Association.
Stay tuned for more information as plans are worked out; and meanwhile, you can learn more about "Arrow Corps 502" on their website and in previous blog entries.
Monday, March 15, 2010
On this sad day (see my previous post), I want to share with you something more--what, uplifting? Entertaining? It brought a smile to my face and I hope it does for you as well.
I received in the mail last week a color copy of a full-page advertisement spotted by one of our retired park service employees and volunteers, Duane Nelson. Here is a similar version of the image from the website of Lane Powell Attorneys & Counselors:
"I recently was sitting in a doctor's office thumbing through a magazine entitled Seattle Business. I came across this advertisement displaying a flight of birds with Pinnacle and Plummer Peaks in the background (Know The Landscape). Never, however, in all my travels at Mt. Rainier have I seen these type of birds. Maybe I spent too many years on the north side. Maybe the climate is really warming up and many different species are now appearing. A good chance for you and [your family] to discover them this coming summer. Then you can tell me next September what new species you have seen."
Thanks for the smile, Duane!
We originally hired Kate as one of our 12-week summer interns, working in a position jointly supervised by our interpretation and maintenance programs, to help with exhibit installation and trail marking as the snow melted out in the spring on the trails high above Paradise. After her term ended, she stayed on as a volunteer for another month, through September, in love with the high country and her job in it. For many of us here at Mount Rainier, she was a valued coworker and friend.
Like so many of our interns, Kate went on to other great adventures after her time at the park. She was a student of environmental studies Portland State University when she went for a hike more than a week ago, on March 4, and didn't return. She had planned a trip to Chile this summer. She was just 24 years old.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Kate's family and friends.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
It's hard to believe, but the vernal equinox is now barely a week and a half away! The summer volunteer season cannot be far behind. To that end, it's time to announce this year's Spring Volunteer Brunch, sponsored by the Tacoma Mountaineers. It's been on the calendar for a long time (since last year, actually), but due to a computer glitch, had dropped off our online calendar page. Thanks to Amy Mann for noticing the omission; it's now back online, along with this official announcement.
May 8, Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. – Potluck Brunch hosted by the Tacoma Branch Hiking & Backpacking Committee and the Mount Rainier Volunteers In Parks (VIPs), at the Tacoma clubhouse, 2302 N. 30th Street, Tacoma, WA 98403. All Mountaineers members, as well as Non-Members, are welcome to attend this event to find out about volunteering at Mount Rainier National Park and to help the Park VIPs kick off the 2009 Meadow Roving season.
There are a number of Tacoma Mountaineers who volunteer at Sunrise during the summer, as well as other Mountaineers who volunteer at Paradise and in the backcountry on a year round basis. Opportunities at the Park abound - check out the volunteer opportunities listed on the Park website, and at the VIP blog.
It's a terrific "job"! If you have just a couple of days a month (weekends or weekdays) there is something for you to do at Mount Rainier National Park. If you've done all the trail maintenance and rebuilding that your body can handle, meadow roving might be just the ticket to get you out and let you give something back to the Park.
Bring something yummy to share for brunch. We'll plan to start serving food at 9:30 a.m. Doors will be open by 8:00 a.m. if you want to come early to slip your treat into the oven to heat it up. Coffee, tea, juice, tableware will be provided.
Questions or for directions, contact Carol Berry, email@example.com, 253-845-9297, Amy Mann, firstname.lastname@example.org, 253-759-2796, Martha Scoville, email@example.com, 253-752-5014.
What a great deal! All you had to do was to get your favorite volunteer site (say, Mount Rainier National Park) to sign up as a sponsor; then get them to advertise a public volunteer project; register on Disney's website; spend a day doing productive, rewarding work; and then, when your participation is confirmed by us, receive your certificate to go meet Mickey!
And, in fact, we did sign up for the program, and were eager to participate this spring, when enough snow finally melted to permit group volunteer projects to resume. Unfortunately--or maybe it's really a good thing, in the big picture--so many people have volunteered that Disney has already reached the one million mark, two months before our first volunteer projects! The program is now essentially closed. Disney's "volunteer portal" now reads:
One million people have now either committed or completed their service through opportunities found at DisneyParks.com via the Volunteer Opportunity Portal.... Volunteer can no longer search or sign up for opportunities at Disneyparks.com.... Now that the program has ended, Volunteers who have not yet committed to an upcoming opportunity (even if they've expressed interest, scheduled a time to volunteer, or served with you) will no longer be able to sign up and qualify for a ticket.The Disney Parks website says:
Hats off to each of the one million volunteers! The overwhelming support we received... has helped us reach our goal of inspiring one million people to volunteer a day of service to their communities. The program has now ended. Although you can no longer register and sign up for volunteer opportunities on this site to earn a free Disney Theme Park ticket, you can still continue to give back to your community by locating and signing up for volunteer opportunities through HandsOn Network.
Whether you're recognizing the spirit of volunteerism or a special occasion like a birthday or anniversary, only one question remains, What Will You Celebrate?Nicely said, and a tip o' the hat for continuing to encourage people to volunteer even after the promotion has ended.
We had 1,865 volunteers at Mount Rainier last year. We coulda qualified for at least a busload's worth o' those million tickets, maybe taken a grand road trip south from Washington state when the snow started flying again next winter...
If I had been more on top of things, I should have at least pointed out the opportunities to you all that may have been advertised by our partners at lower elevations. But even as optimistic as I've learned to be about volunteers, I never imagined the tickets would go so quickly!
Apply online at volunteer.gov
Provide Emergency Roadside Assistance to visitors within Mount Rainier National Park for the Visitor Services and Resource Protection Division.
- Operate a small truck or van on park roads;
- Provide battery jumps;
- Assist with vehicle lockouts (tools and training provided);
- Request tow trucks through Communication Center via park radio (portable radio provided);
- Assist Rangers with traffic control in the Visitor Center Parking Lot and along Roadside;
- Provide emergency gas; assist with tire change; and other minor problems;
- Report accidents, incidents, hazards, or suspicious activity to Park Rangers.
- Valid driver license required. The incumbent will be operating a government vehicle.
- Must have basic mechanical and maintenance skills.
- Must be able to pass a background check.
- Willingness to assist with traffic control on park roads and parking lots.
- Must be able to interact with visitors in a friendly and helpful manner. Sometimes these contacts will be under stressful situations.
- Must be willing to use a park radio and communicate effectively and clearly with staff and the public.
- The ability to work without direct supervision.
- Ability to work outside in proximity to vehicles in cold, wet, snowy conditions at altitudes up to 5400’.
- VIPs will document ALL volunteer work and services provided. This means effectively communicating with park dispatch and other ranger staff the services provided and assistance needed (law enforcement, tow truck, medical services, etc.). Volunteers will provide a weekly log of hours and services provided and turn it in to the supervisor at the end of each week.
- Work within parameters of this position description unless change is documented by your supervisor.
- Have a dedication to protection of the park mission and park resources.
- Housing, if needed, for volunteers working a minimum of 32 hours per week;
- Coverage for tort liability and on the job injury available through VIP Program;
- Uniform and government vehicle provided;
- Waiver of park entry/camping fees;
- Be part of “Making a Difference” with a rewarding position within the ranger division of Mount Rainier.
Approximately June 1 through September 15, 2010.
Park Contact for VIP Questions:
Please note: All volunteers driving government vehicles must have valid driver license and written authorization from supervisor before driving. This position may require a background check.