Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Mount Rainier National Park Volunteer Newsletter: June 2011

Summer is just around the corner and we are getting excited for all the projects that will be taking place in the park this season!

No matter what type of volunteering you are interested in, long term vs. short term, individual or group, backcountry or front country, we have many opportunities for you to help protect the beautiful natural and cultural resources of Mount Rainier National Park and to help serve its visitors.

Check out our calendar of activities for more details on our summer volunteer schedule and upcoming training opportunities.

In addition, the Washington Trails Association (WTA) and the Mount Rainier National Park Associates (MRNPA) are two partner organizations that schedule day long projects and even week long vacations.

Washington Trails Association Projects

Contact WTA through their website for details and to register for these projects:

May 28 - June 4 - WTA Volunteer Vacation at West Boundary Trail

June 3 – WTA Work Party at West Boundary Trail

June 4 – 11 – WTA Volunteer Vacation at West Boundary Trail

June 10 – WTA Trail Work Party at West Boundary Trail

June 11 – WTA Trail Work Party at West Boundary Trail

June 12 – WTA Trail Work Party at West Boundary Trail

June 17 – WTA Trail Work Party at Glacier Basin

June 18 – WTA Trail Work Party at Glacier Basin

June 19 – WTA Trail Work Party at Glacier

June 24 – WTA Trail Work Party at Glacier Basin

June 25 – WTA Trail Work Party at Glacier Basin

June 26 – WTA Trail Work Party at Glacier Basin

September 3 -10 – WTA Volunteer Vacation at Carbon River

Additional projects will be added to WTA’s calendar on a weekly basis throughout the summer. Most projects happen on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through Labor Day.

Mount Rainier National Park Associates Projects

Contact MRNPA through their website for details and to register for these projects:

June 11 - Trail Maintenance

July 9 – De-vegetation

August 13 – Trail Maintenance/Campout

September 10 – Re-vegetation

October 1 – Project TBD

Training Opportunities

Keep an eye out for details about these training courses, and how to register for them, on this blog

May 31 - June 4 – Seasonal Interpreter’s Training Week 1

June 8 - 11 - Seasonal Interpreter's Training Week 2

June 25 - Meadow Rover Training

June 26 – Advanced Meadow Rover Training

Special Event Volunteer Opportunities

We have several dates are on the calendar for drop-in projects, with more being planned.

July 4 - Independence Parade: Every year Mount Rainier National Park marches in the Eatonville 4th of July Parade, and volunteers are eagerly sought to represent the park. Come in uniform and walk with our team! Contact Jim Ross at or (360) 569-6568 to sign up.

August 6 – Keep Wildlife Wild: Mount Rainier National Park will host its third annual Keep Wildlife Wild event on August 6th in an effort to educate visitors on their impacts on wildlife. The day will focus on wildlife protection and education to keep Mount Rainier’s wildlife wild. Volunteers are needed to hand out information on wildlife feeding and patrol areas of high visitor use.

More information on the “Keep Wildlife Wild” program can be found at
If you have questions or would like to volunteer, please contact Sarah Yates at 360-569-6774,

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. Watch the blog for further announcements, but put the date on your calendar!

Group Projects

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:

Sunrise Snow Shoveling

Every year, volunteers help us dig out fire hydrants, rock walls, steps, pathways, and other facilities that mechanical snow removal equipment can't get to safely. It's a fun way to spend a day in the snow at Sunrise, before the area is open to the public! We have both weekday and weekend options are available (with a crew leader provided by our volunteer program). Dates are flexible in mid June. Contact Dale Harvard at 360-569-6728.

Trail Maintenance

Our trail crews will be building and maintaining trails all summer long, and are always happy for help from volunteer groups. Call Trails Volunteer Coordinator Melody Abel at 360-569-6632 to set up a date and location for a project that meets your needs any time during the summer. Note: Trail work is strenuous and may require many miles of hiking. We are typically able to work with volunteers ay through mid-September.

Native Plant Restoration

Our re-vegetation crews will be busy in late summer and early fall planting native plants at locations in both Paradise and Sunrise. 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.

More projects are in the works, so even if you don't see something of interest to you here, give us a call (360-569-6567) and let us connect your group with a project that will make a real difference at Mount Rainier National Park!

Individual Openings

Would you like to volunteer for a longer period of time, or return regularly throughout the summer to help with an 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.

Shadows of the Past: Help bring the history of Mount Rainier to life by acting out a part in our living history program at Longmire, or guide visitors down the enchanted Trail of the Shadows by lantern-light! Tentative program dates are August 13 and 27.

Citizen Science Team: Survey frogs, salamanders, and other species in the park's backcountry!


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 its showers!).

We are always 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 Kevin Bacher (360.569.6567 or or Patti Poulin (360.569.6588 or

Thank you for your support of Mount Rainier, and we look forward to working with you this summer!

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