Saturday, August 20, 2011

Student Conservation Association crews are hard at work at Mount Rainier

On August 18, Patti and I, along with Acting Superintendent Randy King, Trails Foreman Jim Ziolkowski, and Student Conservation Association (SCA) Vice President Jay Satz, got to spend a rare day out of the office and in the field--meeting, spending time with, and photographing two different crews from SCA at work in Mount Rainier National Park. One crew, SCA's Conservation Leadership Corps out of Seattle, was working on trail maintenance on the Wonderland Trail above Louise Lake, at the end of a fifteen day assignment that began building trail at Klapatche Park deep in Mount Rainier's backcountry. The other crew was filming youth activities in the park, including the CLC crew, as part of a larger project filming youth programs in national parks throughout the region.

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.

As anyone local could guess, this has not been the best summer for volunteer crews to work in warm, sunny conditions with great views of The Mountain. Thursday, however, was gorgeous and perfect for photography. Here are a few photographs from the day; enjoy the whole set on Flickr (or click here for a slide show). Thank you to everyone for all of your hard work!

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