Thursday, September 30, 2010
I'm often asked by people, this time of year, how they can volunteer. We have another trails project at White River this weekend, Saturday October 2, sponsored by the Mount Rainier National Park Associates, and Meadow Rovers are still needed at Sunrise and Paradise; but other than that, most of our volunteer work is done for the season. Trail crews have wrapped up their assignments and planting crews are finishing up, both with considerable help from volunteer groups; visitor centers are shutting down; and the weather is turning cold and wet.
So, get out your pen and paper and make a difference for park planning! Read the park's planning document, review the proposed alternatives, and send us your thoughts. Do you like the Park Service's preferred alternative, or one of the other ones? What are your priorities for the Carbon River area of the park? Your input could have as much influence on the future of your national park as if you'd picked up a pulaski in better weather!
From East District Interpreter Christine Czazasty:
Sunrise meadow rovers -
The summer season has ended and the Sunrise ranger station has closed. The Sunrise meadow rover binder and radios have been moved to the White River Wilderness Information Center (WIC). They will be there through Sunday, October 10. The WIC is open from 7:30 am - 4:30 pm dailly. If you check out a radio, you will need to return it to the WIC before they close at 4:30 pm. Thank you for your continued help!
Monday, September 27, 2010
The Tacoma Astronomical Society will be back for the second time this year as volunteers to lead a special astronomy program at Paradise! Let's all hope for clear weather!
September 27, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Curt Jacquot, West Area Interpreter, (360) 569-2211 ext. 6426
Families and individuals of all ages are invited to the Paradise area of Mount Rainier National Park for a special program on Saturday October 2. The event starts at 8:00 PM in the lobby of the Paradise Inn with a short presentation about the National Park Service “Night Skies” program. The National Park Service has come to embrace night skies as one of the many scenic vistas the agency is a steward of. It is essential to keeping a park whole and touches on almost every aspect that is important to us - from sustainability to stargazers, and animals to ancient ruins. At 8:30 PM there will be outdoor star gazing with Tacoma Astronomical Society (TAS) volunteers and their telescopes. Volunteers will also assist visitors to make astronomy devices called star finders.
If weather makes star gazing difficult, the party will move inside the Paradise Inn lobby for star finder making and a 45-minute film about the Milky Way galaxy.
If you have questions please contact Park Ranger Curt Jacquot at (360) 569-2211, extension 6426.
Information about the Tacoma Astronomy Society is found online at: http://www.tas-online.org/
General park information is available at www.nps.gov/mora or by calling 360-569-2211.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
You couldn't ask for better weather than we had at Mount Rainier National Park today for Nataional Public Lands Day! Preliminary estimates are that about 102 people turned out for three different volunteer projects in the park. I spent the day visiting each of the project areas in turn and taking pictures, a preliminary set of which is posted on my Flickr site and shown as a slide show above.
(For you camera buffs, I shot camera RAW, so the pictures will look a lot better once I've had a chance to tweak the exposure on them, hopefully Monday. But I wanted to give you a first look at all the great work that went on today!) Update 9/27: Done! The high quality, full-resolution photos are now posted.
Thirty-one people joined us on the Glacier Basin trail to continue its reconstruction. I was amazed at the amount of work that has occurred since my visit just a week ago. Eventually I'll post before and after photos so you can see what I'm talking about. The crew at Glacier Basin included members of the Washington Trails Association and the T'kope Kwiskwis Lodge of the Boy Scouts of America (who also had a number of members working on Forest Service land outside the park, which are not included in our total).
At Paradise, about 71 people worked to plant native plants around the lower parking lot. This is a project we began last year, and those plants look great, as if they'd been there for years rather than just one, so I look forward to seeing the plants put in today after they settle in to their new home! The group of volunteers at Paradise included members of a class from Evergreen State College, several volunteers from the Boeing Employee Association, and a number of volunteers recruited from their membership by the National Parks Conservation Association, as well as many members of the general public who learned about the volunteer day from their local newspapers. Many volunteers also returned after participated in National Public Lands Day last year.
Mid-afternoon, a contingent of Evergreen State College volunteers broke off from the main group and returned to Longmire to take down the platform tents in the Volunteer Campground in preparation for winter. The Evergreen students have been living in the campground for the past ten days, attending lectures under tarps in the rain, going on field trips, participating in seminars led by park scientists, and working on volunteer trail repair and planting projects, so it's fitting that they wrapped up their experience today by helping us with one final volunteer job.
Thank you, everyone, for an awesome day, and for your exceptional work in support of your national park!
From majestic mountain ranges to beloved neighborhood parks, Americans enjoy the natural places our ancestors have celebrated and protected for centuries. Our public lands represent the American spirit and reflect our shared experience -- our history, our culture, and our deep love for wild and beautiful places. Every September, thousands of Americans volunteer their time and talents to protect our parks, national forests, wildlife refuges, and other public lands. National Public Lands Day is an occasion to join together in honor of our Nation's unique natural treasures.
Every year, Americans take this opportunity to conserve and restore our public places. Last year, an estimated 150,000 dedicated volunteers removed litter and invasive plants; cleaned water resources; built and maintained trails; and planted trees, shrubs, and other native plants. This year, I encourage even more Americans to volunteer in local projects to have a greater impact on parks and public lands across our Nation.
Taking care of our public lands is and must continue to be a proud American tradition. In April, I hosted the White House Conference on America's Great Outdoors to address challenges and opportunities surrounding conservation today, and to identify new ways to work together to preserve our natural bounty. I also inaugurated the America's Great Outdoors Initiative to build a conservation agenda for the 21st century, and to reconnect Americans to our great outdoors. To do this, I instructed my Administration to participate in listening sessions around the country to hear Americans' concerns, and to learn about what citizens and communities are doing to safeguard our land, water, and wildlife, as well as places of historic and cultural significance. As a Nation, we must engage in a new conversation about the conservation of the cherished places that have helped define us.
On this day of service and celebration, I encourage all Americans to give their time and energy to care for -- and to go out and enjoy -- our public lands. Together, we can build upon our history of stewardship so our unique landscapes are preserved for countless generations to come.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 25, 2010, as National Public Lands Day. I invite all Americans to join me in a day of service for our public lands.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fourth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.
Friday, September 24, 2010
Pathfinder Middle School is another dedicated partner group who returns to Mount Rainier National Park every year to work on a volunteer project. Pathfinder has been finding a path to The Mountain for three years now, and their contributions to our planting program have been substantial! I crossed paths with them at Paradise on the Autumnal Equinox, and found them bundled up against the season but enjoying the beautiful late afternoon light along the edge of the lower parking lot. Here's a set of pictures of their efforts. (To see the photos individually, go to the photo set on Flickr.)
Thank you, Pathfinder!
Yes, your group, too, can set up a recurring partnership with Mount Rainier National Park! Every year we need groups to help with trail maintenance, planting, and other projects. Give us a call to arrange your role! Contact Kevin Bacher, Volunteer Program Manager, at 360-569-2211 ext. 3385.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
From Bob Davies, at the T'Kope Kwiskwis Lodge of the Boy Scouts of America:
The Order of the Arrow is the National Honor Society of the Boy Scouts of America. The local branch of the Order of the Arrow is T’Kope Kwiskwis Lodge, which serves King County and parts of the Olympic Peninsula. The organization is known nationally for its mission of community service and focus on outdoor adventure. Uniquely, the programs in the Order are planned and executed almost entirely by youth members.
Members of the Lodge will spend the weekend at Ranger Creek, on the north side of the mountain, an area especially in need of maintenance. “After storms in the winter of 2006, Mt. Rainier National Park was devastated” says Ian Bellows, Lodge Secretary and Logistics Chairman. “There’s been a lot of work done in and around the park, but there’s still plenty of work left do.” Planned activities for the weekend will include building trail and bridges, revegetation and slope stabilization, and invasive plant removal.
The project next weekend is in preparation for a massive service project in the summer of 2011, called ArrowCorps 502. “The goal of the project,” said Evan Skandalis, ArrowCorps 502 Chairman, “is to invite 502 Scouts, Scouters, and Arrowmen from all over the country to spend a week in Mt. Rainier National Park. It’s a great way to get people to ‘pay it forward’ and give back to one of our iconic National Parks.”
With the Boy Scouts of America’s increased focus on conservation and the Lodge’s mission of service, the project was “a perfect fit” for the 1000 member Lodge, according to Bellows. “We’re going to be a part of something that will make a real and lasting difference, and that’s a great feeling.”
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
|Student Conservation Association|
members hiked the Glacier Basin
Trail to see the work done by their
volunteers and by other partners
|Picking our way through a section|
of trail yet to be rebuilt
|Washington Conservation Corps at|
work on the Glacier Basin Trail
|Your mission, should you choose to|
accept it: turn this into a trail
|WTA volunteer working along the|
Glacier Basin Trail
We finally reached our destination, at the base of the Emmons Glacier climbing route, in time to eat our lunch in a steady downpour: a typical autumn trail experience that did nothing to reduce the beauty of the setting or to dampen our enthusiasm for the work we'd seen along the trail.
Volunteers will continue working on the Glacier Basin Trail, alongside park trail crews, during this coming National Public Lands Day weekend. With their help, the rebuilt trail should finally be complete sometime early next spring. Thank you to everyone who helped to make this project happen! Your work will endure, providing access to the living heart of Mount Rainier National Park, for generations.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
From the National Parks Conservation Association in Seattle:
MEDIA ADVISORY—Public Service Opportunity
More than 170,000 Volunteers Expected to Help Clean Up National Parks, including Mount Rainier on National Public Lands Day
WHAT: Trail Maintenance work and revegitation at Mount Rainier National Park.
WHO: We urge the public to join staff and members of the National Park Conservation Association, along with the National Park Service.
WHEN: Saturday, September 25, 2010, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
WHERE: Mount Rainier National Park. Meet at Longmire Museum, 6.5 miles east of the Nisqually Entrance in the southwest corner of the park.
For directions please visit the Longmire Museum link provided above. For more information, please call NPCA’s regional office at 206.903.1444.
CONTACT: Bethany Van Etten, Administrative Coordinator—Northwest Region National Parks Conservation Association, 206.903.1444, email@example.com
WHY: The National Parks On Saturday, September 25, 2010, more than 170,000 volunteers across the country are expected to lend a hand in cleaning up America’s public lands in recognition of the 17th annual National Public Lands Day. The nation’s leading voice for the national parks, the nonprofit National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) will assist in this effort and work with local volunteers at national park sites across the country, including Mount Rainier National Park in Washington. "National Public Lands Day provides volunteers an opportunity to enjoy America’s Great Outdoors and help with important restoration efforts like planting native plants, cleaning up campgrounds from storm damage, and restoring trails throughout our national parks,” said Bethany Van Etten, with NPCA’s Northwest Regional office. “The event helps bring together thousands of individuals nationwide who share an appreciation for the public lands that we so often enjoy, but many times forget to care for.”
National Public Lands Day was established in 1994 and is the nation’s largest hands-on volunteer effort to improve and enhance the public lands, including national parks. This year, National Public Lands Day is celebrating service and recreation on public lands and is educating volunteers about the health benefits of spending time outdoors. After the event, volunteers are encouraged to explore the wonders of the great outdoors by taking a hike, swim, or bicycle ride. National Public Lands Day is also a fee-free day for many federally managed lands, including the National Park System. Volunteers who participate are given coupons for a second free entry into their favorite federal public land areas. To learn more, visit the NPCA events page or http://www.publiclandsday.org/.
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.
Three Moon Bay Video has once again come through for us by donating their time, resources, and considerable talent, this time with a one-minute clip of the Volunteer Picnic on August 28. If you weren't able to attend, here's a little of what you missed! Your work is deeply appreciated, and we hope you're able to attend next time!
This video is also available in High Definition on YouTube and Vimeo.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Time to strike while the iron is hot!
In 2004, 18,000 plants were grown for restoration mostly in the Sunrise area. By continually growing our exemplary greenhouse and revegetation programs, this year we are undertaking perhaps our most ambitious restoration project by placing 120,000 plants into the fragil subalpine areas of Paradise and Sunrise. This is a testament to the dedication in preserving and restoring the esscence of Mount Rainier National Park, its subalpine meadows.
Unfortunately for these beautiful and precious areas there is a very small window in which the conditions are just right to plant and regrow the damaged meadows. Our revegetation crew will continue to work tirelessly to accomplish this huge endeavor but achieving our full potential will only be possible with the help from YOU!
Thanks to groups of students from Evergreen State College who will be working Saturday through Thursday we are inviting everyone to "drop-in" this week with the revegetation crew at Paradise.
Saturday September 18th - Thursday 23rd
Paradise Lower Lots
All are welcome!
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Mount Rainier recently hosted our 17th yearly group of volunteers from Japan aka J-VIPAs. This year 9 volunteers stayed with host families for up to two weeks working at the Thompson Ranch at what is to be the Carbon River Ranger Station on a number of projects including building this staircase!
During their time away from volunteering they attended a Seattle Mariners baseball game with several park employees. The J-VIPAs also enjoyed hiking and a tour of Mount Rainier National Park with special stops at previous year's J-VIPA projects.
A big thanks to everyone who contributes to making the J-VIPA program possible and especially to the J-VIPAs for their hard work!
Friday, September 10, 2010
National Public Lands Day 2010 celebrates service and recreation on public lands while educating volunteers about the effects of climate change on our parks. NPLD engages a diverse audience of adult and youth volunteers to get to outdoors and improve their lands, whether at the grandest national park or at an urban park in their neighborhood.
NPLD inspires a new generation of volunteers committed to service on public lands. The event also encourages volunteers to explore and enjoy America's natural wonders through outdoor recreation. After working hard, volunteers can take a hike, a swim, a bicycle ride and get healthy in America's backyard.
Last year Mount Rainier received over 200 volunteers participating in revegetation, trail work and other various volunteer projects. We are trying to top last year's numbers by offering several volunteer opportunities around the park.
Volunteers should plan on meeting in front of the Administration Building in Longmire at 9:00am for the official welcome, volunteer registration, and to receive your NATIONAL PUBLIC LANDS FREE ADMISSION PASS!!
Some of the volunteer projects taking place will be;
- Restoration Project with Will Arnesen at the Paradise Lower Lot
- Longmire Campground end of season cleanup
- WTA - Glacier Basin Trail work
- Trail crew cleanup
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
In case you missed it the first time, don't miss our announcement of free Living History training at Mount Rainier National Park this Saturday, September 11, 2010! We'll spend the day working with an expert in presenting programs about history using first-person or third-person techniques. This is an exciting opportunity to make the history of Mount Rainier come alive!
The class is filling up rapidly, but there are still a few spots left, so give West District Interpreter Lee Snook a call today to reserve your space!
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Please help us in congratulating Will and Josh in receiving 2010 Natural and Cultural Resources Co-Employee of the Year Award who extend their thanks to all the volunteers that contribute their valuable time and efforts to their programs.
Will Arnesen is being recognized as the Natural and Cultural Resource (NCR) Division Co-Employee of the Year for 2010. Will directs the park’s field restoration operation and takes great pride in all aspects of the vegetation restoration program. He is a very accomplished at coordinating invasive non-native plant treatments by both the crew and the EPMT, native plant salvage and maintenance, and planting of both salvage and greenhouse produced native plant materials. In October 2009 he coordinated the completion of planting approximately 100,000 greenhouse plants and 5,000 contractor grown shrubs at Paradise, and this year will plant approximately 120,000 plants at Paradise and Sunrise. He is very dedicated to protecting the ecosystems of the park and maintenance of the salvage and greenhouse plantings through scheduling regular watering by the crew after initial planting. He has proven to be an excellent supervisor of a crew that is composed of personnel from various sources including seasonal hires, student hires, SCA’s, YCC’s and Japanese VIP’s. He also incorporates the efforts of various volunteer groups on weekends and specials events, including training for the ongoing efforts of volunteer meadow rovers. On National Public Lands Day he coordinated the efforts of over 150 volunteers in that one day. Since the previous restoration lead went on extended detail, Will has assumed leadership of the vegetation restoration crew without missing a beat. He purchases supplies and materials needed to support the operation, and documents those purchases to support management of the numerous accounts that fund the operation, including Paradise restoration, Sunrise restoration and several Federal Highways projects. Will also routinely presents vegetation of the park and restoration program information to both internal and external groups, such as seasonal interpreters and Elderhostel.
Josh Drown is being recognized as the Natural and Cultural Resource (NCR) Division Co-Employee of the Year for 2010. Josh manages the park’s horticultural operation and takes great pride in the production of native plants for the vegetation restoration program. He is a very accomplished at coordinating seed collection and cleaning, stratification and propagation, care of containerized plants and subsequent transplanting. In October 2009 he completed production and delivery of approximately 100,000 greenhouse plants to the Paradise restoration site, and this year is in process of production of another 120,000 plants: 80,000 plants for Paradise and 40,000 plants for Sunrise. He is very dedicated to the nurturing of the seedlings and plants by tending to the watering and climate control of the greenhouse. He will come in on weekends or holidays before seasonal staff have come on duty or when they are otherwise unavailable to provide plant care and facility maintenance. Since the retirement of the previous horticulturist, Josh has assumed management of the greenhouse without missing a beat. He purchases supplies and materials needed to support the operation and maintain the facilities, and documents those purchases to support management of the numerous accounts that fund the operation, including Paradise restoration, Sunrise restoration and several Federal Highways projects. Josh routinely assists other staff in the operation of the park’s air quality monitoring station at Tahoma Woods, and directs the mowing of the meadows adjacent to the greenhouse to reduce the potential of invasive plants to contaminate the native plant materials used for restoration.
Will and Josh are hard-working employees and well respected by their staff, peers and all NCR personnel. Will and Josh are to be commended for their excellent technical skills and dedication to resource protection. Their work in the vegetation restoration program compliments each other and they are both very deserving of this award.