The above is Longmire. Here, just for comparison, is the view from the visitor center at Paradise:
From West District Interpreter Lee Snook:
I've just completed an exhaustive review and update of our complete listing of volunteer opportunities. Follow the link at the top of the page for the very latest information on our plans for volunteer day-projects, long-term volunteer opportunities, and full-time positions and internships. Opportunities exist for both individuals and groups. With a few exceptions (e.g. Campground Hosts), most are not yet hiring for next summer, and many have not even advertised their positions yet, or decided whether they will have the resources to do so. But this will give you a good guide to what positions we've hired in the past, and what we might anticipate hiring in the future.
It's never too soon to inquire about volunteer opportunities, so browse through the list, find something that touches your interests, and follow the directions to either apply or contact the appropriate supervisor to express your interest! You can also follow this blog, our Twitter feed, or our Facebook page, or contact me, Volunteer Program Manager Kevin Bacher, and ask to be added to our mailing list for updates monthly during the summer and intermittently through the winter.
Speaking of winter: One of the most common questions asked of me this time of year is, how can I volunteer during the winter? The truth is, not many opportunities are available when trails and plants are buried by snow--that is, from November through May or June in most parts of the park. But options are available:
Here, at last, are the statistics for this year's volunteer program. Total volunteers are 1,728, and volunteer hours are 74,504. This is 514 more hours than last year, and 288 fewer volunteers. Based on estimates of volunteer value from Independent Sector, our volunteer contribute roughly $1.6 million worth of service to Mount Rainier National Park.
The largest reductions in our numbers of volunteers were in the revegetation program, which had more than 300 fewer volunteers, and our WTA partnership, which lagged behind last year's record numbers by about 80 people (but still contributed 448). The reveg numbers were down due to a few large school groups not returning this year. Not sure if this is because these schools are taking fewer field trips in general, or because our Sunrise reveg site is much less convenient than the one at Paradise had been -- I suspect more of the latter than the former.
The reductions were partially made up for by increases in other areas, including archeology, Meadow Rovers, Citizen Science, and Boy Scouts. More analysis to come!
Meanwhile, here are the details:
Department of the Interior
National Park Service
Volunteers In Parks
THANK YOU to everyone for another successful National Public Lands Day! We're still compiling the statistics, but it looks like about a hundred people helped out with trail maintenance and revegetation at White River Campground and Sunrise. The day was warm, breezy, and partly cloudy, about as good as anyone could hope to expect at the end of September at 6,000 feet! The Glacier Basin Rededication went smoothly, with special guest appearances by Carl Fabiani, retired trails foreman; Alan Carter Mortimer, Field Director of the Washington Trails Association (WTA); Liz Reynolds, Mayor of Enumclaw; and a lot of enthusiastic volunteers. Special thanks, also, to the National Parks Conservation Association for helping to sponsor the event (and bringing coffee), and to WTA for leading projects and bringing cookies for the after-party!
The photos above and below are only three of 120 you can enjoy on my Flickr photo site. We'd love to see your pictures and hear your stories, too!
Elizabeth (above) and Clara (below) help with the revegetation project at Sunrise on National Public Lands Day.
The last Mount Rainier National Park Associates trails work party for 2011 will be on Saturday, October 1st. We will be working on the Rain Forest Loop Trail at the Carbon River entrance. I am told we will be doing maintenance on the trail tread and possibly some repair of the wooden bridges. As always, volunteers should bring a lunch and plenty of fluids to drink, work gloves, safety glasses, a hard hat if they have one, and a full set of rain gear. October is frequently rainy, so bring some dry clothes too.
We will meet at between 8:30 and 9:00 AM, and be ready to go to work by 9:00 AM.
If you plan to attend this work party, please sign up at www.mrnpa.org and tell me that you are coming, how many volunteers you are bringing with you. I need an estimate of the number of volunteers so that Park staff can be sure to have enough tools for us all. If you have a hard hat that you will be wearing, please tell me that too.
There are safety equipment requirements for all MRNPA trail work volunteers. (These rules apply to all trail workers.) Anyone using an aggressive tool - like a Pulaski, ax, shovel, etc. - or anyone working near them - is required to wear both a hard hat and safety glasses. People not working with or near an aggressive tools are not required (but will be encouraged) to wear a hard hat. If you own a hard hat that you can wear, please bring it. If you do not have a hard hat, we have hard hats that we loan for the day.
Wearing safety glasses is encouraged at all times. Not all safety glasses are comfortable for everyone and some will not fit over eye glasses. Because of cleanliness issues, some people don't like wearing safety glasses that have been worn by other people. For these reasons, and probably many others, please purchase (acquire, find, dig-up, whatever) a pair of personal safety glasses that you will wear. The local hardware store is a good place to start shopping. A serviceable pair or safety glasses will cost about $10. And be advised that shatterproof eye glasses do not meet the requirement for safety glasses. Safety glasses all have side protection which eyeglasses do not.
If you are not able to attend the MRNPA work party on October 1st, but are interested in volunteering at Mount Rainier National Park, please take a look at the following message from Mount Rainier National Park concerning National Public Lands Day on September 24th. That may interest you.
John TitlandVolunteer CoordinatorMount Rainier National Park Associates
Mount Rainier National Park News Release
September 19, 2011
For Immediate Release
Kevin Bacher, Volunteer and Outreach Program Manager
Volunteers will work on trails, planting, and rededication of Glacier Basin Trail at Mount Rainier on National Public Lands Day, September 24 – Entrance fees to be waived
Have you signed up to attend National Public Lands Day and the Glacier Basin Trail rededication on Saturday, September 24? Lots of people have already done so, and it looks like it's going to be a great day of service! In case you forget the details, click here to read our original announcement, then RSVP as follows:
It has been a busy summer here at Mount Rainier National Park and while the 2011 summer season may be winding down, there is still an array of volunteer opportunities happening due to the late season melt off. So be sure to mark your calendars and come enjoy what is shaping up to be an extended summer around here at Mount Rainier!
In the meantime, catch up on what we have been up to this past month with these headlines from the Mount Rainier National Park volunteer blog.
Mark Your Calendars: National Public Lands Day and Glacier Basin Trail Rededication on 9/24!
National Public Lands Day will be happening on Saturday, September 24th and we are pleased to announce that most the projects and celebration will occur on the East side of the park within the White River and Sunrise area. Special events and volunteer opportunities will include re-vegetation, trail maintenance projects along the Wonderland Trail, and a rededication ceremony for the now completed Glacier Basin Trail.
Student Conservation Association Crews are Hard at Work at Mount Rainier
SCA is a major partner of the National Park Service, and each year fields many individual interns and crews at Mount Rainier and other parks, who contribute thousands of hours of volunteer service in return for a small stipend and a fantastic summer experience. We've had a total of three Conservation Leadership Corps groups in the park this summer, funded by a grants from the Park Service's Youth Internship Program and the Student Conservation Association.
Japanese Volunteers Return for an 18th Year
Almost every year since 1993, students from Waseda University in Tokyo have been visiting Mount Rainier National Park through the Japan Volunteers-in-Parks Association (J-VIPA) to conduct volunteer projects. They typically stay for three weeks, live with host families in the local community, and get a lot of work done.
Keep up with current volunteer events, upcoming training opportunities, and the latest news by clicking on the calendar of activities at the top of this blog.
You will also find projects through the Washington Trails Association (WTA) and the Mount Rainier National Park Associates (MRNPA).
Washington Trails Association Projects
Contact WTA through their website for details and to register for these projects:
September 16, 17, & 18 – Wonderland Trail at Sunrise Trailhead
September 23, 24, & 25 – Wonderland Trail at White River Trailhead
Mount Rainier National Park Associates Projects
Contact MRNPA through their website for details and to register for these projects:
October 1 – Trail Maintenance at Carbon River
Event Volunteer Opportunities
September 24 – National Public Lands Day:
Every year on the last Saturday of September, Mount Rainier brings its summer volunteer program to a close with a massive volunteer day, offering volunteer opportunities throughout the park including trail maintenance and re-vegetation. This year’s event is taking shape on the east side of the park, with projects at Sunrise and White River. To learn more about these events please visit our blog or contact Kevin Bacher at (360) 569-6567 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a part of a group and/or organization that is looking for a project at the park we have several projects that require groups ranging in size from 5 to 100. Multi-day projects can use volunteers for a single day, or for several days at a stretch. Here are some options:
Native Plant Restoration:Our re-vegetation crews will be busy with drop in re-vegetation projects in the Sunrise are during the next two Saturdays (9/17 and 9/24).
Groups of almost unlimited size are welcome to help, either for single days or multiple day stretches. Contact Will Arnesen at 360-569-6762 to arrange a date for your group.
Interested in volunteering for a longer period of time, or return regularly throughout the season to help with extended projects? We have many opportunities to choose from!
Follow these links for details and to apply for any project that interests you:
Meadow Rover: Help us protect the subalpine meadows above Paradise and Sunrise by patrolling trails and educating visitors about the importance of staying on trails.
Plant Propagation (Greenhouse Assistant): Help grow plants for transplanting in the subalpine meadows.
Citizen Science Team: Survey frogs, salamanders, and other species in the park's backcountry! Please note that Citizen Science projects have now ended for the 2011 season, please check back with us regarding future projects in spring 2012.
Besides the obvious benefits of volunteering at a National Park (time outdoors, meeting new people, sense of accomplishment), our volunteers get free entrance to the park on their days of service, as well as free use of the Longmire Campground (and the only campground showers within the park!).We are consistently updating our blog with all the latest information and opportunities to volunteer at Mount Rainier.
If you would like to get involved in any of the programs you have read about it this newsletter get in touch with either Patti Poulin (360.569.6588 or email@example.com) or Kevin Bacher (360.569.6567 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Thank you for supporting Mount Rainier National Park and we look forward to working with you!
Recreational Equipment, Inc. has awarded at $20,000 grant to the Washington Trails Association to support their trail maintenance program. Among many other places in Washington state, WTA leads regular volunteer projects on the trails at Mount Rainier National Park, so those efforts are indirectly supported by the grant. In fact, projects are coming up both this weekend and next that you can sign up for now! Last year, 529 WTA volunteers contributed 5,652 hours in the park. Thank you, REI, for your help!
Read all about it here.
|SCA's Conservation Leadership Corps|
|NPCA's registration booth|
|Revegetation volunteers at Sunrise|
One of the unique volunteer opportunities available at Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco is a program called "Design Volunteers in Parks,"an innovative program which works in collaboration with students from the Academy of Art University, R/GA, and Ex'pression College." The program helps students connect with the natural and cultural resources of their national parks while demonstrating skills in new media design in projects created for the National Park Service.
The DVIP program has just released this video introduction to volunteering in the national parks. It's a great video to share with anyone who might be considering becoming a volunteer!
DVIP: Volunteers In Parks Orientation Video from G Su on Vimeo.
Two winters ago, Three Moon Bay video company donated a similar production to Mount Rainier National Park, called "Mount Rainier National Park: the 21st Century Volunteer." Like the DVIP video, it focuses on our local park while conveying the message of volunteerism in national parks generally. That video occupies a permanent place at the bottom of this blog page, and a shorter, 30-second teaser featuring Shelton Johnson of Yosemite National Park is in the upper right. You can also enjoy all of our videos on our YouTube and Vimeo channels!
This year the volunteers for the third annual “Keep Wildlife Wild” event took a positive approach to educating visitors about the importance of not feeding the wildlife in the park.
Leading by example, 21 volunteers targeted picnic areas along the Nisqually and Steven’s Canyon corridors with brooms and dustpans to sweep up crumbs left by picnickers. They shooed deer from the roadsides to keep them safer from traffic and “well intentioned” feeding, as well as Townsend’s chipmunks, Douglas squirrels, Steller’s and grey jays, Clark’s nutcrackers, and ravens from their usual spots around picnickers. Uniformed in shirts with the “Keep Wildlife Wild” logo and the message PEOPLE≠FOOD, most volunteers took to the park’s free shuttle bus system to provide informative handouts and stickers to visitors along the stops of the bus route.
Many of the volunteers had backgrounds in teaching and outdoor stewardship. The group was made up of both new and returning participants whose dedication to wildlife protection and visitor education helped make the event a success.
Thanks go out to all who participated!
Mount Rainier National Park
The Mount Rainier National Park Associates annual meadow revegetation work party will take place at Sunrise this coming Saturday, September 10th. If plan on attending this work party and have not already contacted me, please contact MRNPA as soon as possible to let me that you are coming and the number of volunteers that you are bringing with you.
An update: My wife Jane and I were at Sunrise today. The sky was cloud free and the temperature was in the high 70s. The forecast is for this coming Saturday is for more of the same. So be sure to bring a sun hat, sunscreen, and plenty of fluids to drink.
Also noted: the wildflowers were putting on an amazing show of color for this late in the year. I don't think I have ever before seen so many flowers blooming at Sunrise.
Mount Rainier National Park Associates
This upcoming Sunday will mark the tenth anniversary of September 11th, a day that has left a mark within the hearts of all of us. In 2009 the National Day of Service and Remembrance was established in an effort to unite our nation. By encouraging Americans to participate in service and remembrance activities on the 9/11 anniversary, this special event aims to provide a productive and respectful way to honor those who perished while rekindling the spirit of unity and compassion that swept our nation after this tragic event.
In honor of 9/11 and to share in remembrance, Mount Rainier National Park in conjunction with community partners will be hosting a variety of service projects located throughout the park and open to volunteers of all ages.
Please consider joining us in remembrance this weekend by participating in one of the special projects listed below.
Saturday – September 10th
Mount Rainier National Park Associates
Project: Planting wildflower seedlings near Sunrise, working to convert a historic campground area back into alpine meadows.
Where: Meet at the Sunrise parking lot between 8:30 and 9:00am
For more information or to sign up for this project visit http://www.mrnpa.org/
Washington Trails Association
Project: Trail maintenance
Where: Wonderland Trail at Sunrise Trailhead
For more information or to sign up for this project visit http://www.wta.org/
Sunday – September 11th
Washington Trails Association
Project: Trail maintenance
Where: Wonderland Trail at Sunrise Trailhead
For more information or to sign up for this project visit http://www.wta.org/
|Revegetation at Paradise|
Photos by Kay Ishii
We've had a great response to our call for volunteers to staff the park's booth at the Puyallup Fair. In fact, it was so good we have only three shifts left to fill.
They are all evening shifts (5 PM to 8:30 PM). If you volunteer you will receive a parking pass and two admission passes. You can take a friend or significant other, do the fair during the day and finish off the day at our booth. What a deal.
The dates available are Tuesday the 13th, Friday the 16th, and Tuesday 20th. I do most of the evening shifts but the boss insists that I have two days off a week (Monday-Tuesdays) and I have to announce a football game on that Friday night.
If you would like to help out, please email me at email@example.com .
This morning when I checked the news headlines on MSNBC, there in the travel section was an article about our own Jim and Carol Miltimore and their extraordinary contributions to Mount Rainier National Park! It wasn't a complete surprise, as I'd been interviewed a while back for the story (my "quote" in the article seems to have been embellished a bit, but at least it's still accurate).
My favorite quote from the piece: "Imagine the impact on the national deficit if every able-bodied man and women in America contributed on behalf of the federal government the way the Miltimores do for free. And they consider it their privilege." That pretty well sums up the attitude of all of our volunteers -- both those who, like the Miltimores, volunteer almost full-time in their retirement, and the individuals who squeeze in a few hours between jobs (or job hunting) and their kids' soccer practice. They all experience what Acting Superintendent Randy King says in the article: "It’s just a great way for people to give back. Volunteers form a deep connection to the land."
Check out the complete article on the MSNBC website.
To our great volunteers.
I'm in need of 5-10 volunteers for a 3 hour special project to get ready for the Puyallup Fair. The Northwest Outdoors Building (where Mount Rainier has its booth) will be filled with native plants this year. A nursery in Gig Harbor loans us the plants and transports them to the fair grounds. But we need some folks to place them throughout the building and to place bark around them.
When: Wednesday, September 7 from 10 AM to 1 PM
Where: The Northwest Outdoors Building at the Puyallup Fair (park in the blue lot, come in the blue gate and go left)
If you can help please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org
There will be another opportunity to help on September 26th as we move the plants out. Same time.
Jim Ross Outreach Specialist
Mount Rainier National Park
Received from Mount Rainier National Park Associates. To learn more about MRNPA or to sign up for this event, please visit their website.
Greetings Alpine Gardeners and Trail Work Volunteers,
The annual Mount Rainier National Park Associates alpine gardening work party will be Saturday, September 10th. That is the Saturday following the Labor Day weekend. We will again be planting wildflower seedlings near Sunrise, working to convert a historic campground area back into alpine meadows.
On the morning of September 10th, we will meet in the Sunrise parking lot between 8:30 and 9:00 AM. As you arrive at Sunrise, Jane and I will be parked on the far left (south) side of the parking lot. Please check in with us as soon as you arrive. We need to get a count and the names of all our volunteers. There may be volunteers from other organizations milling about, so look for us at the green-gray Subaru Outback Wagon surrounded by people who look like they know what is going on,
Be prepared for almost any fall weather. In the past we have experienced everything from warm and sunny days to a driving blizzard. In addition to your sun hat, sunscreen, and your rain gear, bring a lunch, plenty of fluids to drink, gardening gloves, and a hand digging tool you like. If you have no gardening tools, the park can provide small hand tools. You will be working on your hands and knees to do the planting, so you may want to bring a pad for your knees too. The work site is about a mile from the parking lot so plan on carrying everything you need to and from the work site.
We normally work until at least 3 PM.
There is no charge for volunteers to enter the Park. When you enter at the White River Entrance, tell the gate attendant that you will be doing volunteer work on the meadow restoration project at Sunrise.
If you would like to camp for free at the White River Campground the evening prior to or the evening of the work party (or both evenings) contact Will Arneson at Will_Arnesen@nps.gov soon. For free camping, he must make the arrangements well in advance of the scheduled date.
If you plan to join MRNPA on Saturday, Sept 10th, for this alpine gardening work party, please reply to this email confirming that you are coming and indicating the number of volunteers that you will bringing with you.
Mount Rainier National Park Associates
If you would like to volunteer to do planting at Mount Rainier but September 10th is not a convenient date, please consult the Mount Rainier website, http://www.nps.gov/mora/home.htm. Wildflower planting will be going on for several days.
Needed: At least 1, as many as 3, volunteers to help distribute information at the Nisqually Entrance tomorrow, Saturday August 20, about Washington's National Park Fund.
Our current office exhibit is a retired museum exhibit of Pacific salmon-- and while it is nice, it contains many photos which are irrelevant to our area. Our goal is to replace most of the exhibit with items that are relevant. This includes photographs and artwork. Allan is our first artist, and we've asked him to create two large paintings, one for Becharof NWR, and one for Alaska Peninsula NWR. I believe Katmai NP is interested in having an image of Brooks Camp, and another of the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes.Allan's "grand adventure" should last him a couple more weeks, and then he'll be home and ready to share his stories with us in person!
I have another volunteer coming, Tom Collopy of Homer, AK, overlapping with Allan. Tom will be taking photos of the villages near our refuges, both from the air and the ground, and we will assemble these in the office to remind us of our partners on the Peninsula.
I've been meaning to post this for a while now, and having just celebrated the exceptional work of volunteers in general at last weekend's annual volunteer picnic, it seems like a good time to pass this along.
Bill Marsh is our volunteer Meadow Rover Coordinator at Paradise. He sent me this note on July 25, commending the performance of three Meadow Rovers, Mike and Nancy Henderson and Karen Overturf. The letter is a long one, but it deserves to be shared in its entirety, because it represents the indomitable spirit of so many of our volunteers here at Mount Rainier National Park, and it reminds me why I'm so proud to be part of this program. Bill told his story in person at the picnic, and the park's Acting Superintendent, Randy King, has extended his personal thanks to everyone involved.
On August 3rd, Jim and I took advantage of the opportunity to experience archaeology excavation at the historic borrow pit in Sunrise area. The excavation was conducted by the CWU archaeology field school students under the direction of Dr. McCutcheon.
We started the visit with a tour of the site Dr. McCutcheon guided as he narrated an interesting history and background of the site. We saw the freshly excavated stratigraphic profile completed just the day before on the bank of the water-filled borrow pit.
The field school students found numerous artifacts including a large palm-size chert stone that appears to have been worked by human as they worked on the profile. Then we went to the excavation site the field school students just began excavation work that morning. Two days earlier they had to shovel snow off the area to prepare the site for excavation. The area has been surveyed to layout coordinates in order to map the overall site and lay out grids for excavation.
We first watched the students learn hands-on how archaeological excavation work are conducted. Students work on 1 meter x 1 meter grids in teams using trowels, scoops, buckets, standing sieves and record books. They scrape off an unique stratigraphic layer at a time (or constant depth) and sieve the excavated material. The stratigraphic layers are defined by historic geological events, such as volcanic eruptions, glacial events and lahars, and interludes between these geological events. They meticulously record data and observations for each layer level: depth from the reference point, the map of grid (soil color variation, location of tree roots, etc.), volume and type of material removed and sieved, any artifacts found as sieved.
After watching the student survey the site and work grids, they let us get our hands dirty sieving and working with a trowel and scoop. We excavating the layer less than 10 cm down into pit and the layer consisted of the salt-and-pepper looking stratigraphic layer called Mount St. Helens Wn, ash deposited by the Mount St. Helens eruption of 1480 A.D. and soil deposited since this eruption. So we were all excited when roars came from the sieving area telling us lythic pieces were found, one each from two of the grids. Not only that, one of the two was the grid I was helping excavate!
As you can see this is a great opportunity for anyone who is interested in archaeology, park history, Native American history, geology, and anyone who is just looking for a new adventure and experience. I hope many people, our VIPs and park including, take advantage of this opportunity and fill up the limited slots available. (For the west siders: Sunrise is melting out and brilliant blooming flowers are starting to spread from road edges into meadows.)
East side Wilderness VIP
Opportunities are available on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 8:00 am to 11:30 am during the first three weeks in August. The number of participants is limited each day to six people ages 16 and above. Reservations may be made in person at the Sunrise Visitor Center or by calling 360-663-2425.
This season a generous donation was made by Mount Rainier National Park Associates to fund the lease during the summer 2011 season of a Ford pickup truck to be used for the Roadside Assistance Volunteers (RAVEN) program.
The RAVEN program operates June through August on the south side of the park assisting park visitors in need of help with their vehicles and providing traffic control during emergency operations and during times of heavy traffic congestion. Raven volunteers work 6-7 days a week. Last year park visitors avoided an estimated $52,000 in towing charges as result of receiving assistance from the Raven volunteers.
A donation was also made to the Restoration Program to purchase the parts to construct a portable misting system to be used at the greenhouse at Tahoma Woods.
At the greenhouse, native seeds and cuttings are propagated that are later planted in meadows that are being restored. The addition of a misting system to the greenhouse will increase the number of plants that can be propagated and having a portable system will allow greater flexibility of its use.
To read this original article visit Mount Rainier National Park Associate's website.