Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Miltimores featured on REI blog

Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) has just featured two of our volunteers, Jim and Carol Miltimore, on their blog! It's a very comprehensive article for which they actually sent a reporter out to do an interview and take pictures of them at work on the Mountain.

If you've ever wondered how wide a range of volunteer opportunities are available at Mount Rainier, this article will give you a sense for it -- because the Miltimores have participated in just about everything, from sorting historic photos to packing human waste out from backcountry campsites ("It's not as bad as it sounds," says Carol)!

Read the whole article here on the REI Blog.

Photos from National Public Lands Day

Hands in the earth

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!

National Public Lands Day 2011

Elizabeth (above) and Clara (below) help with the revegetation project at Sunrise on National Public Lands Day.


Friday, September 23, 2011

Presidential Proclamation -- National Public Lands Day

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For immediate release                                      September 22, 2011

National Public Lands Day, 2011

- - - - - - -

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation
     At the dawn of the 20th century, President Theodore Roosevelt embarked on a tour of the American West that forever changed our Nation's relationship with the outdoors. His visits to Yellowstone, Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, and other natural wonders instilled in him a commitment to conservation, and they motivated him to designate millions of acres of protected land. Today, our public lands system is a model of conservation and an important resource for clean energy, grazing, and recreation ‑‑ vital economic engines in both rural and urban communities.

     On National Public Lands Day, we take time to appreciate our parks, national forests, wildlife refuges, and other public spaces, and we recommit to protecting and restoring them for future generations. This year, thousands of dedicated volunteers will continue a proud American tradition by conserving and restoring our public lands with local projects across our Nation [including at Mount Rainier National Park]. Americans will restore hiking trails, remove invasive plant species, clean lakes, and pick up litter in city parks. Through their service, families and children will find opportunities for outdoor activity on the millions of acres of national forests, parks, and trails.

     To maintain our environmental heritage and build a responsive conservation and recreation agenda, my Administration launched the America's Great Outdoors Initiative last year. We met with thousands of Americans in listening sessions across our country, and compiled the results of this national conversation in the report, America's Great Outdoors:  A Promise to Future Generations. To act on these findings, we are undertaking projects in collaboration with State, local, and tribal governments to responsibly steward the lands that belong to all Americans. First Lady Michelle Obama also joined in support of getting Americans outside when the Let's Move! initiative, in coordination with the Department of the Interior, launched Let's Move Outside! to help families exercise in the great outdoors.

     Countless Americans have experienced the same awe and wonder that President Roosevelt felt on his westward journey. By joining in this legacy of conservation, Americans young and old protect not only our lands, but also the promise that future generations will be able to carry forward the spirit of adventure that lies at the heart of our Nation.

     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 24, 2011, as National Public Lands Day. I encourage all Americans to participate in a day of public service for our lands.

     IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty‑second day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand eleven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

MRNPA's Final Work Party for 2011 - October 1st!


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 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

Volunteers will work on trails, planting, and rededication of Glacier Basin Trail at Mount Rainier on National Public Lands Day, September 24

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

On National Public Lands Day, Saturday, September 24, 2011, more than a hundred volunteers will assemble at Mount Rainier National Park to plant native plants, maintain trails, and rededicate the Glacier Basin Trail after four summers of repairs. The work day will cap a highly successful season during which about 2,000 people have contributed to the protection of Mount Rainier’s natural and cultural treasures and helped serve its visitors.

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.

Members of the public are invited to join in the day’s work. The National Parks Conservation Association and the Washington Trails Association will help coordinate the event and lead volunteer projects. Participants may register at the event, or pre-register by e-mailing Mariely Lemagne at

National Public Lands Day volunteers will sign in at the amphitheater in White River Campground, in the northeast corner of Mount Rainier National Park, beginning at 8:00 a.m. Travelers should note that the Stevens Canyon Road in the park is closed due to construction. The White River Campground can be reached via State Highways 410 or 123.

At 9:00 a.m., the Glacier Basin Trail will be rededicated in a short ceremony recognizing the many groups and individuals who contributed to the project. The popular trail was devastated by flooding in November 2006, and would have taken many times as long to rebuild without help from the public, said Kevin Bacher, Volunteer Program Manager at Mount Rainier. “The Glacier Basin Trail is a perfect example of the power of partnerships,” said Bacher. “On our own, we can slowly chip away at a project. But together, we can move mountains.”

In addition to National Park Service crews, participants in the reconstruction have included Alpine Ascents International; Boy Scout troops 224, 436, the Pacific Harbors Council, and T’kope Kwiskwis Lodge 502; EarthCorps; the Northwest Youth Corps; Recreational Equipment, Inc.; sailors from the USS Henry M. Jackson; and the Washington Conservation Corps. The Washington Trails Association leads about 500 volunteers per year in the park, many of them at Glacier Basin, and continues to be an invaluable partner in trail maintenance. Interns and Seattle-based youth crews from the Student Conservation Association work throughout the park on projects including volunteer coordination. The Mount Rainier National Park Associates coordinate volunteer projects every month throughout the summer.

After the dedication ceremony, volunteers of all ages will help with revegetation efforts at Sunrise and with several trail projects near White River Campground. 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. Volunteers will re-gather at the amphitheater in White River Campground at 3:30 p.m. for a more informal celebration, with refreshments provided by the Washington Trails Association.

In addition to trail maintenance, volunteers at Mount Rainier National Park patrol wilderness areas and climbing routes, assist and educate visitors, conduct research as citizen scientists, plant native plants, provide roadside assistance, and catalogue historic records. Last year, 2,016 volunteers contributed 73,990 hours of service, an effort valued at $1.54 million.

Information about Mount Rainier’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, or on its volunteer program blog at

- NPS -

Friday, September 16, 2011

NPLD: An updated project list

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:

  • All volunteers should send a note to Mariely Lemagne at NPCA at You may also register in person on the day of the event, but signing up ahead of time will help us with planning.
  • If you're planning to participate in the Washington Trails Association project (see the full list below), sign up on their website. Note that WTA will also be doing trail work on Friday the 23rd, and Sunday the 25th, so consider coming early or staying a day longer, and sign up for those dates too!
  • We've set aside a block of campsites at White River for volunteers to use on Friday and/or Saturday night. To ensure that we have enough sites set aside, if you plan to camp, please RSVP to Kevin Bacher at A block of sites (probably in "A" loop) will be reserved for our use.
Meanwhile, here (subject to change) are the projects currently on the docket for September 24th:

Revegetation: Restoration specialist Will Arnesen will be leading a large team of volunteers in restoring the site of the former drive-in campground at Sunrise. He can take a nearly unlimited number of volunteers of all ages.

Trail maintenance: Several trails projects will be happening at White River and Sunrise. Each is limited to about 12 people. These projects are most appropriate for adults or older children:
  • Wonderland Trail between White River and Sunrise, rebuilding turnpikes and tread repairs, two crews (Washington Trails Association and NPS).
  • Wonderland Trail between White River and Sunrise, brushing, NPS crew.
  • Sunrise Rim Trail, tread repair, NPS crew.
  • Wonderland Trail between Frozen Lake and the Northern Loop Junction, tread repair, NPS crew.
One final note: The National Public Lands Day organization and REI are sponsoring a "Volunteers in Action" photo contest, with a grand prize REI camping package worth $600. Check out the details ahead of time if you plan to participate, and download the photo release form linked to their contest rules. Images from Mount Rainier have won in the past!

We look forward to seeing you at White River Campground at 9:00 a.m. on September 24!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mount Rainier National Park Volunteer Newsletter: September 2011

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

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 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.

Individual Openings

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 or Kevin Bacher (360.569.6567 or

Thank you for supporting Mount Rainier National Park and we look forward to working with you!

REI grant supports WTA which supports Mount Rainier National Park

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.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Mark your calendars: National Public Lands Day and Glacier Basin Trail rededication on 9/24!

WTA volunteers
It's time again for Mount Rainier National Park's biggest volunteer event of the year! Mark your calendars now and plan to join us on Saturday, September 24 for a combination event. First, we'll be rededicating the Glacier Basin Trail, which volunteers and park partners have helped rebuild over the past three summers following its destruction in the November 2006 flood. Then, we'll disperse for a variety of volunteer projects, including more trail maintenance and a major revegetation effort at Sunrise. Finally, anyone who's interested will re-gather at the White River Campground for snacks and a more informal celebration and sharing of stories about the Glacier Basin Trail reconstruction.

SCA's Conservation Leadership Corps
2011 statistics aren't in yet, but from 2008 through 2010, volunteers and youth organizations like the Washington Conservation Corps and Student Conservation Association contributed 49,497 hours of time on the Glacier Basin Trail, an effort worth almost $1.06 million based on current figures from Independent Sector. The work has been done by National Park Service trail crews, partner groups, community groups, and hundreds of individuals who have worked on the project through the Washington Trails Association. WTA volunteers alone contributed about 15,000 hours of service over the three year period. The Student Conservation Association has fielded more than 8,000 hours of trail teams, national crews, and members of their Community Programs, made up of high school students mostly from the Seattle area.

NPCA's registration booth
Other key partners on the project have included Alpine Ascents International; Boy Scout Troops 224 and 436, as well as the Pacific Harbors Council and the T'kope Kwiswis Lodge 502 in Seattle; EarthCorps; the Mount Rainier National Park Associates; the Northwest Youth Corps; REI Adventures; and soldiers from the U.S.S. Henry M. Jackson. About 500 volunteers worked on the project each year (with a lot of overlap from year to year).

All volunteers who contributed to the Glacier Basin Trail reconstruction are invited to return for the rededication, and stay for National Public Lands Day!

Revegetation volunteers at Sunrise
The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) will be returning again this year to help coordinate National Public Lands Day. Volunteers can choose from several projects. The National Park Service and WTA will both be leading trail maintenance projects on sections of the Wonderland Trail departing from White River Campground. Meanwhile, at Sunrise, Mount Rainier's restoration team will lead volunteers in replanting the old Sunrise Campground with native plants. For either project, volunteers should bring a lunch, snacks, water, layered clothing that you can get dirty in, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Bring your own gloves if you have a pair that works well for you. All ages are welcome! Other projects may be added between now and September 24th as well.

Registration for National Public Lands Day will be hosted by NPCA at the Amphitheater in White River Campground. Volunteers may choose to stay overnight for free in the campground the night before September 24th and/or the night after. Please RSVP with your intentions (see details below). WTA will be working on the Wonderland Trail again on Sunday, September 25th.

Event Details

WHAT: National Public Lands Day and Glacier Basin Trail Rededication

WHEN: Saturday, September 24, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
8:00 a.m. Event Registration
9:00 a.m. Glacier Basin trail dedication
10:00 a.m. Trail and meadow restoration
3:30 p.m. Informal gathering and celebration
WHERE: All events take place at, or depart from, White River Campground at Mount Rainier National Park. Click here for a map and directions. Stevens Canyon Road will be closed to the public that day due to road construction. Please enter the park via Highway 410 or 123.

RSVP: If you plan to attend, please RSVP to Mariely Lemagne at NPCA at If you plan to camp overnight, please RSVP with those plans to Kevin Bacher at Mount Rainier National Park at If you wish to join a WTA work crew on Saturday or Sunday, please also register online at

OTHER INFO: Entry to all national park units will be free on National Public Lands Day! Volunteers who register at White River Campground will receive a coupon for free entrance to Mount Rainier National Park on a future date of your choosing. Please bring work gloves and dress appropriately for the weather and activity. Suncreen, hats, and raincoats are recommended. You will also want to bring your lunch and a water bottle to stay hydrated.

We hope you will join us for the Glacier Basin Trail rededication and National Public Lands Day!

Design VIP program produces video introduction to volunteering in the national parks

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!

Third Annual Keep Wildlife Wild Event a Great Success!

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!

-Sarah Yates
Wildlife Biologist
Mount Rainier National Park

Thursday, September 8, 2011

MRNPA Re-Vegetation Work Party - This Saturday (Sept. 10th)!


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.

John Titland
Volunteer Coordinator
Mount Rainier National Park Associates

Saturday, September 3, 2011

National Day of Service: Honoring the 10th Anniversary of 9/11

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

Washington Trails Association

Project: Trail maintenance

Where: Wonderland Trail at Sunrise Trailhead

For more information or to sign up for this project visit

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

Japanese volunteers return for 18th year

Revegetation at Paradise
Photos by Kay Ishii
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.

This year, despite the major earthquake in Japan this winter, nine students have spent the past two weeks working on revegetation projects at Paradise and campground restoration at Ipsut Creek. They'll be here another week before returning home, helping to paint the park's newly acquired facilities at the Thompson Ranch near the Carbon River entrance.

Meanwhile, J-VIPA is deeply involved in recovery work in Japan. This year's group leader, Hitomi Saito, for example, who has been to Mount Rainier twice before, attended a memorial service in Sendai just days before flying to Washington. Read all about their efforts on their website: in Japanese (with bilingual earthquake reports in both English and Japanese), or via a Google translation. Members of the local Mount Rainier community had, as of April 30th, contributed almost $3,500 toward J-VIPA's work in Japan.

Next year will be J-VIPA's last work year at Mount Rainier --  not because they've given up on us, but because they're expanding their work to other national parks around the country. Over the past 18 years, more than 320 students have served at our park, many of them multiple times, and they've contributed more than 21,000 hours of effort worth an estimated $450,000 in today's dollars. More importantly, of course, they've also led to long and lasting friendships between people in two countries, and our lives have been enriched by their partnership.

Thank you to this year's students: Akiko Uemae, Kanako Itohara, Julia Martel, Chiaki Kusui, Hitomi Saito, Sachiyo Wakabayashi, Natsumi Yoshioka, Tatsuya Matsubayashi, and Kaoru Kajigayama!

For more photos of this year's crew in action, visit Kay Ishii's photo page on Picasa.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Only Three Time Slots Left at the Fair!

Hi volunteers!

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 .

Jim Ross
Outreach Specialist