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!

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