Saturday, September 29, 2012

NPLD Litter Pickers

One professor, nine Evergreen State College students and two local residents made short work of litter along SR 706 as Mount Rainier Volunteers participating in an Adopt-A-Highway cleanup patrol. Seventeen bags of litter were collected along the two-mile stretch of roadway which encompasses the Park's Tahoma Woods property and the best view of Mount Rainier from this scenic highway. Passing motorists often honked their approval or waved to the group in acknowledgement of the service they were providing.
Similar patrols will be conducted in April in conjunction with Earth Day and again in June just prior to the Fourth of July when Park visitation is at a peak. Participation is limited to twelve individuals per the Dept. of Transportation, so if you are interested in taking part, please contact Crow Vecchio or Kevin Bacher at ext. 6567. Volunteers like you can make a huge difference in our visitors' experiences both inside and outside the Park!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Note Of Thanks

Received from Marilyn Darling, this letter is reason for all Mount Rainier Volunteers to glow with pride:

This is to express my appreciation for all the help Gayle Eads and her VIPs gave the interps at Sunrise this summer. Gayle worked tirelessly to produce a well-organized, well-informed and efficient corps of VIPs who complemented the work our limited staff had to do. When we arrived from Ohana on busy weekend mornings, the first thing we saw would always be Gayle and other VIPs stationed around the parking lot answering questions. And as we left for the day, she’d often still be on station, still hard at work.

Throughout the day, VIPs would report in with trail and flower reports. Often they were the only people available when extra help was needed, either in the Visitor Center when we were short-staffed, or on the trail. Everyone pitched in immediately, without hesitation and with great good cheer to do what needed to done, and then they went their individual ways, often before we could thank them. One memorable afternoon VIP (and Nurse) Suzie Fish-Sadin made it down from Frozen Lake to the Emmons Vista trail in little over 15 minutes, well ahead of the EMTs from White River, to tend a woman who had fainted on the trail. I was on scene and very relieved to see her approaching (apparently not even out of breath) and so were our EMTS when they arrived!

Now that the season is over and I’m leaving I wish I could thank all these good folks in person. We would have been in big trouble without their help! It is a testament to Gayle’s dedication, hard work, and sense of responsibility that the VIPs were so well organized. And it’s thanks to Gayle and her troops that so many things went smoothly at Sunrise!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Adopt-A-Highway on National Public Lands Day

On September 29 (National Public Lands Day), a crew of twelve volunteers will be participating in litter pickup along SR 706 from milepost 2 to milepost 4 as part of our recent agreement with the Washington State Department of Transportation under their "Adopt-A-Highway" program. Our designated section of roadway includes Mount Rainier's Tahoma Woods property frontage. Similar pickups will be conducted in April and late June. In recognition of the valuable community service we will be providing, signs acknowledging Mount Rainier Volunteers will be placed at either end of our patrol area. What a great way to show visitors we care about the community as well as our own Park!

National Public Lands Day, THIS Saturday!

This Saturday, September 29th, Mount Rainier is one of over 2,000 sites for National Public Lands Day volunteer festivities!

Eight federal agencies as well as nonprofit organizations and state, regional and local governments participate in the annual day of caring for public lands. National Public Lands Day is important because…

  • NPLD educates Americans about the environment and natural resources, and the need for shared stewardship of these valued, irreplaceable lands;

  • NPLD builds partnerships between the public sector and the local community based upon mutual interests in the enhancement and restoration of America's public lands; and

  • NPLD improves public lands for outdoor recreation, with volunteers assisting land managers in hands-on work.

 This year we will be meeting at the White River Campground, Saturday morning between 8:30 and 9:00 am. We will meet at the evening program camp fire circle. There you will be able to sign up for a project to in the Sunrise area. We ask that you please park in the climbing and backpacking parking lot or just before the campground ranger station. Please avoid parking in empty campsites.

This year we will have trails projects with our park's trail crew and revegetation projects with the park's restoration crew.

Washington Trails Association will also have a work party in the Sunrise area. They will be meeting at the Sunrise Visitors Center at 8:30 am, separate from the White River Campground meet up at 9:00 am, as this is a regular work party event for them. You may show up Saturday morning at Sunrise for the WTA event, but they request that you sign up on their website ( for the specific work party ahead of time. This way they know how many volunteers to expect.

 Because you will be using your free admission to the park to volunteer, you will receive a National Public Lands Day voucher for free admission, on a day of your choosing, at Mount Rainier National Park!

We hope you can make it out to help our mountain and celebrate public lands!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Washington's National Park Fund, Highlighting Rainier!

Check out the Washington's National Park Fund's September Newsletter and find out how they have been helping Mount Rainier and other Washington parks this year! Thank you WNPF!
 September 2012
In This Issue
Starbucks Employee Trail Maintenance Crew
New Donor Corner
Your Gifts in Action
NEW! Ways You Can Give Back!
Quick Links
WNPF is preparing our FY2012 Annual Report. To our hundreds of donors, if you prefer anonymity, please let us know today. We will honor your wishes.
Contact us!

Laurie Ward, Executive Director

Jessie Bullis, Director of Development

Washington's National Park Fund  is  the official nonprofit partner supporting Mount Rainier, North Cascades and Olympic National Parks, ensuring the preservation of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and continued enjoyment for all. 
Starbucks Employees Lead Trail Maintenance Weekend
More than twenty Starbucks employees contributed 245 volunteer hours maintaining one of Mount Rainier's most-used trail areas in August.
  Starbucks Trail Maintenance Crew
Thanks to the leadership and passion of a few Starbucks Employees, this group of park lovers took it upon themselves to create a trail maintenance volunteer weekend in Mount Rainier. Now, in their sixth year, they're responsible for miles and miles of Mount Rainier's most beloved and well-traveled trails. 
Headed by Stacey Long Collins and Lesley Blyth, the group is made up of Starbucks employees from all departments, but with one important thing in common - their love for the national parks, and their desire to give back.
To learn more about this trail maintenance volunteer weekend, check out the full story, here.
Are you interested in doing some trail maintenance at your favorite national park? Check out the National Park Service's volunteer information website here. 
Want to learn even more about Washington's National Park Fund? 

Thanks to the Laura and John Arnold Foundation  of Dallas, you can learn more about Washington's National Park Fund right here. The production of this video was fully funded by the Arnold Foundation. The results propel Washington's National Park Fund forward as we achieve our marketing and communication goals. 

People want to know more about what we do; now it is nicely packaged into a short series of video clips. Thanks, Arnold Foundation!
New Donor Corner
Meet one of our newest donors!
Erik Blazing
Erik Blazing, on a recent trip to Mount Rainier National Park.

Erik and Anna Blazing, originally from Minneapolis, moved to Seattle five years ago and have been avid users of Mount Rainier National Park ever since. Recently the 
couple took a trip to the park's Glacier Basin Trail. Erik and Anna felt compelled to give back to the park after seeing what great shape the trail was in. 
"I know public funding for even basic infrastructure can be tough in this political climate, so I felt like I wanted to do something on my own to help the park out in general," Erik said. 
Anna Blazing
Anna Blazing during Glacier Basin hike 
The Blazings are hikers in the summer and skiers in the winter, and are constantly amazed by the number of people who have traveled significant distances just to get to places we take for granted. Third Burroughs is one of their favorite places in Mount Rainier National Park; they've been able to hike it for the past three summers.  
"As users and lovers of the national parks, and the opportunities they give us, we felt like we wanted to help make sure everyone has an awesome experience like we do, and that places like that are protected for the future. I was attracted by Washington's National Park Fund's focus on our local parks, since I think they're some of Washington's most important assets."
Thanks, Erik and Anna! 
Your Gifts in Action
Mount Rainier National Park
Project  Highlight: Cascade Red Fox Study

Mount Rainier National Park contains the most significant population of the Cascade Red Fox, a vulnerable subspecies proposed for listing as a state threatened species. Recent research has shown the Washington population as distinct and threatened due to climate change and human interactions. Mount Rainier may act as an "island refuge" for the Cascade fox, surrounded by an ocean of unusable habitat and threats from the non-native lowland red fox. This project, entails the attachment of GPS radio collars to record fine scale movements, and requires the trapping and immobilizing of subjects. Dr. Allison Case, DVM, from the Point Defiance Zoo, and the NPS term wildlife biologist will both be assisting on this important project, thanks to the funding the donors of Washington's National Park Fund has provided. The completion of this project will ensure the safe handling of rare Cascade foxes, and the information gained will be integrated into the NPS Visitor Experience and Resource Protection (VERP) process to establish resource indicators to guide visitor management.
North Cascades National Park 
Project  Highlight:: Youth Transportation into the Park

North Cascades National Park is hard at work to engage under-served communities through over 20 different youth programs, but transportation costs often create insurmountable barriers to participation. The funding for this project, provided by generous donors to Washington's National Park Fund, will enable the park to provide key assistance for  youth program partnerships with at least six school districts and organizations, including North Cascades Institute, Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group, Urban Wilderness Project, Washington State University Cooperative Extension/4-H, and the Student Conservation Association. This program will also allow North Cascades National Park reach out to under-served youth from urban, rural, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, African-American and low-income communities in park based education and stewardship activities. For many of these youth, this will provide a first-ever visit into a national park, and help create the next generation of youths who will become stewards and advocates of these lands.

Olympic National Park 
Project  Highlight: Alternative Transportation Guide

This important project,
funded by Washington's National Park Fund's donors,
 will enable visitors to Olympic National Park to tour the park using public transportation options. This will also support the park's goal of reaching "Climate Friendly Park" status by reducing vehicle miles within the park. These new brochures will be distributed throughout gateway communities, such as Port Angeles and Victoria, B.C., and will highlight routes, key park destinations, and alternatives to get to each location. 

For more information on ongoing projects in the parks, please visit our website:
Looking for Ways You Can Give Back?
Check out our new programs, custom designed for you to give back to the parks how you want to!
Rainier Meadow
The New Adopta-Trail-Mile Program is raising much needed funding for Mount Rainier, North Cascades, and Olympic National Parks. With nearly 1,300 miles of trails to maintain, funds raised will allow park staff to bring in more volunteer groups like Washington Conservation Corps, Washington Trails Association, and Student Conservation Association to name a few. These crews, trained and supervised by park staff, work tirelessly to improve trails washed out/damaged during the long winter monthsFor a gift of $300/year, your name will be added to the growing number of trail adopters. Individuals, couples, families, and corporations are welcome to pitch in. You can break down your support into monthly payments of $25/month, or $75/quarter. To adopt your trail mile now, click here.

The Park Ambassadors Program is recruiting individuals who are passionate about our parks, and who understand the need to get more "boots on the ground" filled by people with particular skills. We are seeking people who will spread the news about Washington's National Park Fund, and the projects resulting from our donors. These people will help us to share each park's priorities with others who care deeply about the parks. Those recruited will become Mount Rainier, North Cascades, and Olympic National Parks Ambassadors.

For more information about either program, contact Executive Director, Laurie Ward

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tour of Dooty

If you didn't sign up to work a shift at the Puyallup Fair this year, you missed the opportunity to serve at the Park's most unique dooty station. Our animal scat exhibit is a huge hit with children who, although often reluctant for hands-on exploration at first, warm to the subject rapidly when you explain how to tell one doo-doo from another. Adults frequently contribute to the interpretive aspect with personal observations, "Isn't that what you saw at the cabin?" or "I saw some of that on the trail!"

Our Volunteers enrich the experience by interacting with the kids using any of three wildlife hand-puppets or by inviting children to make their own bookmarks using animal footprint stamps, many of which correlate with the doo-doo droppers' paw marks. This "tour of dooty" is a great way to instill curiosity about the natural world in youngsters!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

September 2012 Volunteer Newsletter

Mount Rainier National Park Volunteer Newsletter
September 2012

Restoration Crew and MRNPA Work Party September 8, 2012, THIS SATURDAY!
The annual Mount Rainier National Park Associates meadow revegetation work party will be Saturday, September  8th.  If you do not sign up through MRNPA, please know that walk-ons are accepted! MRNPA volunteers will again be assisting the Mount Rainier ecological restoration crew in planting wildflower seedlings, working to convert a historic campground near Sunrise back into alpine meadows.  Will Arneson, the NPS crew supervisor, tells me that there will be approximately 55,000 seedlings to be planted this fall before the snow covers the meadows.  Saturday, September 8th, will be a big day in getting this effort started!
On the morning of Saturday, September 8th, MRNPA volunteers will meet in the Sunrise parking lot between 8:30 and 9:00 AM, please do not be late as it will be extremely difficult to find the group once they have left the parking lot!  As you arrive at Sunrise, look for a dark green Subaru Outback Wagon, parked on the far left (south) side of the parking lot surrounded by people who look like they know what is going on. That will be the MRNPA volunteers.  Please check in with John Titland as soon as you arrive if you are signed up through
Be prepared for almost any fall weather.  In the past we have experienced everything from warm and sunny days to a driving blizzard.  In addition to your sun hat, sunscreen, and your rain gear, bring a lunch, plenty of fluids to drink, gardening gloves, and a hand digging tool you like to use.  If you have no gardening tools, the NPS will provide small hand tools.  Most of the day you will be working on your hands and knees to do the planting, so you may want to bring a pad for your knees. The pads available at your local gardening retailer work great.  The work site is about a mile from the Sunrise parking lot so plan on carrying everything you need to and from the work site.
We normally work until at least 3 PM and will break for lunch at about at noon.  This is a great outing to share with your husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend and even your kids.  It is a beautiful location,  It is very instructive to see how much of the area has been replanted and how it is slowly returning to being a meadow.

There is no charge for volunteers to enter the Park.  When you enter at the White River Entrance, tell the gate attendant that you will be doing volunteer work on the meadow restoration project at Sunrise.   

If you have further questions about the work part, please feel free to contact Carrie Anders, Mount Rainier Volunteer Coordinator, at

Hope to see you there!

National Public Lands Day, Saturday, September 29th!

National Public Lands Day is quickly approaching and plans are being finalized! We will be sending out a special email to our volunteers and volunteer groups as more information is available! We will be working out of Sunrise with the Restoration Crew planting around the area. Also, the park trail crew and WTA will be taking a few crews out on the East side to work on trails. We will meet at the White River Campground Saturday morning at 9:00 am. After a quick welcome and project assignments, we will head out to our designated projects! We hope you can help us celebrate our public lands!

WTA, What a season!

The Washington Trails Association has done tremendous work this year at Mount Rainier. We would like to thank all of the volunteers, WTA crew leader, and the members of the Mount Rainer trail crew who assisted in maintaining and beautifying our trails! There are still work parties throughout September working on the Skyline Trail and on the East side toward the end of the month. Check out their website for details and sign up information.

Thanks WTA, for all you do!

Meadow Rover Training, September 8, 2012!

The Mount Rainier National Park, Volunteer Meadow/Snow Rover Program is presenting our last and yet timely ‘Saturday Training Session’ of the Summer season this week with, "The New 10 Essentials and Beyond" .  
These classes have been specifically selected for their relevancy in order to provide the Meadow/Snow Rover with the information necessary to meet the essential elements of their position. It is the stated goal of this educational program to enhance Meadow/Snow Rover safety, knowledge, and the visitor contact experience. All of the classes will be presented by experts in the related topics.  
The weeks topic is:
Saturday 9/08/2012 - "The New Ten Essentials and Beyond" - Ed Hunds, Experienced Meadow Rover, Wilderness Preparedness Expert
Please join us for this timely class on what the modern, prepared wilderness traveler should always be carrying, as well as 'gear tips' on what will make the upcoming Winter season a safe and enjoyable experience.  Please be prepared to share your equipment suggestions and/or ideas.
Location: Upstairs conference room of the Wilderness Information Center
Time: 10 AM to 11:30 PM  
Day: Saturday  
Date:  9/8/2012
The topic presented is geared to provide a Park relevant learning opportunity for ALL  MORA employees and volunteers. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend!!!  
RSVP required please! Please RSVP no later than the Thursday prior to each specific training session.
Please join us for these free and highly informative classes! Also, please let me know if you have any relevant topics you would like to see covered.
Happy trails!
Bill Marsh =+)
West Side Meadow Rover Coordinator
Mount Rainier National Park

SCA Intern in the Spotlight!

We would like to highlight a special intern this summer to help show how much the park relies on and appreciates our volunteers. The east side Backcountry Intern through the Student Conservation Association, Kris Youtz, was first on scene to an emergency call in the Glacier Basin area in the past month. He effectively and professionally assessed the situation, used his Wilderness First Responder training, contacted back up and assisted with the carry out. This is not the first time this season we have had out volunteers help in a SAR situation. We would like to show how much we value our volunteers at Mount Rainier. We appreciate every volunteer for their service and commitment to the park and treasure the relationships we have built with them! Thank you all!