Friday, July 15, 2011

Mount Rainier National Park Volunteer Newsletter: July 2011

Summer is here at Mount Rainier National Park and volunteer projects are starting kicking off as the snow continues to rapidly melt away. 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.

Along with a multitude of volunteer projects happening this summer, we have many partner projects in the works as well. You can read more about upcoming events and projects Mount Rainier National Park’s Volunteer Blog.

Check out the link at the top of this blog for a calendar of activities and full details on our summer volunteer schedule, including 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.

Annual Volunteer Potluck

When: August 13th (Saturday) at 4pm

Where: Longmire Community Building

You've worked hard all year long volunteering thousands of hours on your feet, sometimes on your hands and knees, through meadows, forests, rain, snow, occasionally sunshine and all on your free time. Now it's time to pat each other on the back, swap stories, and celebrate all your work over the past year.

Please plan on bringing a dish to share to the Longmire Community Building August 13th, 2011 at 4:00pm. Utencils and plates will be provided.

We will also be putting together a slide show presentation to highlight all the accomplishments of our fantastic VIPs since last August and we would love to include some of YOUR best photos showing your volunteer experiences at Mount Rainier. Please send them to Jim Ross (

Washington Trails Association Projects

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

July 1 - WTA Work Party at Glacier Basin Trail
July 2 – WTA Work Party at Glacier Basin Trail
July 3 – WTA Work Party at Glacier Basin Trail
July 8 – WTA Trail Work Party at Glacier Basin Trail
July 9 – WTA Trail Work Party at Glacier Basin Trail
July 10 – WTA Trail Work Party at Glacier Basin Trail
July 15 – WTA Trail Work Party at Glacier Basin Trail
July 16 – WTA Trail Work Party at Glacier Basin Trail
July 17 – WTA Trail Work Party at Glacier Basin Trail
July 22 – WTA Trail Work Party at Glacier Basin Trail
July 23 – WTA Trail Work Party at Glacier Basin Trail
July 24 – WTA Trail Work Party at Glacier Basin Trail

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:

August 13 – Trail Maintenance/Campout
September 10 – Re-vegetation
October 1 – Project TBD

Event Volunteer Opportunities

We have several dates scheduled for drop-in projects, with more being planned:

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. Volunteers will be asked to man kiosks in groups while talking to visitors and providing information on park wildlife and the dangers of wildlife feeding. Additionally, volunteers will be asked to haze animals that are approaching visitors to beg for food. Active hazing will keep wildlife from obtaining food and set an example for those people who may be tempted to feed.
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:

Native Plant Restoration:

Our re-vegetation crews will be welcoming drop in volunteers at the old Sunrise campground on September 10th and 17th. 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.

Longmire Campground Setup:

The historic Longmire Campground is in full swing for the season. An unexpected delay kept us from setting up the infamous platform tents earlier last month, but now we are ready! We need an enthusiastic group of volunteers to spend half a day setting up the canvas tents. For more information contact Patti Poulin at 360-569-6588 or

Attractants Assessment:

Mount Rainier National Park wants to evaluate its efforts at keeping human attractants away from wildlife. Annually, crews walk through the campgrounds of the park and document use of the campsites and whether items of concern (e.g. coolers, dishes, etc.) are left out where wildlife can get to them. By monitoring campgrounds, we can see how effective our educational efforts are, and where we might improve our attractant management program.Volunteers are needed to walk through the campgrounds, documenting whether each campsite is used, and what types, if any, of attractants may be left unsecured from wildlife access. The volunteer would complete specific data forms, and would have the option of providing an educational message if contacted.

Each of the four campgrounds (Cougar Rock, Ohanapecosh, White River, Mowich Lake) need surveying on a periodic (e.g. monthly) basis, July to Sept. One person can survey a campground in a couple of hours, but working in pairs or small groups might be preferred. For more information please contact Mason Reid at 360-569-6771 or

More projects are in the works, so even if you don't see something of interest to you here, give us a call (360-569-6588) and let us connect your group with a project that will make a real difference at Mount Rainier National Park!

Individual Openings

Interested in volunteering for a longer period of time, or return regularly throughout the summer 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!


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 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 or Kevin Bacher (360.569.6567 or

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

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