Monday, October 1, 2012

A successful National Public Lands Day for 2012!

This year, 97 people participated in National Public Lands Day projects at Mount Rainier National Park. Most--85 all told--worked at Sunrise. Half of those spent the day improving the Wonderland Trail between Frozen Lake and Sunrise Camp under the direction of Park Service and Washington Trails Association crew leaders. The other half worked to put native plants into a restoration site near Sunrise Camp. Meanwhile, an even dozen worked on cleaning up the highway near Mount Rainier's park headquarters, as described in the previous post.

The day's total included members of a class from The Evergreen State College; members of a local Boy Scout Troop; and many members of the general public, some of whom have become old friends from repeated attendance at NPLD.

More volunteers were active in the park on their regular duties, unrelated specifically to National Public Lands Day. I encountered two Meadow Rovers on the trail near Frozen Lake, and several were reportedly busy at Paradise as well. I heard another volunteer report in from Tipsoo Lake on the radio.

The numbers were a little small this year compared to other years, but the remote location of most of the work was probably responsible, combined with deceptively poor weather in the lowlands: while it was cloudy and rainy down low, we were partly cloudy and dry on the Mountain and surrounded by beautiful fall weather. We were even visited by a black bear, who sauntered past the trail crews at a distance of just 20 yards, completely ignoring them.

Enjoy the slide show of photos here, and if you'd like a more complete set of images, find it here.

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