Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thoughts on this year's volunteer statistics

  • Number of volunteers have increased from 1,728 to 1,804.
  • Total volunteer hours increased from 74,504 hours to 74,615 (worth $1.6 million!).
  • In most cases, volunteer hours increased. The one major exception was that we had a huge number of hours (11,148) logged by Washington Conservation Corps last year and a much smaller number (1,200) this year. Take out WCC and the remaining hours increased dramatically, from 63,356 to 73,415.
Some highlights:
  • Archeology: Up from 3,348 to 5,654 due to increased participation by Central Washington University Field School.
  • Campground Maintenance: Up from 203 to 1,139 due to increased numbers of volunteers working on the Longmire Campground.
  • Citizen Science: Up from 383 to 947, with participation in both amphibian surveys and butterfly surveys. Wildlife survey volunteer numbers were also up.
  • Climbing Rangers: Up from 1,436 to 3,622.
  • Curatorial Assistants: Up from 3,325 to 4,253.
  • Emergency Roadside Assistance: Up from 685 to 1,323.
  • Interpretation: Up from 4,568 to 7,718.
  • "Maintenance Response": Down from 828 to 0, due to the retirement of Clyde and Lois Ambacher. (We'd still love to find someone new to fill this position!)
  • Meadow Rovers: Up from 6,622 to 7,595.
  • Revegetation: Down from 2,391 to 1,463.
  • Search and Rescue: Up from 1,254 to 2,301.
  • Trails: Down from 22,393 to 13,136, mostly due to reduced hours by WCC.
  • Transportation Studies: Down from 3,416 to 0 due to completion of this one-year project.
 Our partnerships remain vital:
  • 5,112 hours were contributed by Student Conservation Association (down from 8,203 last year due to 4 fewer individual SCA interns and one fewer community crew).
  • Washington Trails Association contributed 5,339 hours and 388 volunteers (down from 448 volunteers last year).
  • The Geologists-in-Parks (and Geoscience Teachers in Parks) program contributed 5,270 hours and 11 people.
  • The Teacher-Ranger-Teacher program contributed 1,634 hours and 10 people.
  • The Mount Rainier National Park Associates turned in 977 hours.
  • Evergreen State College contributed 1,600 hours, including 3 full-time volunteers and 28 class members.
  • Boy Scouts contributed a total of 1,989 hours and 151 people.
  • All told, we have 38 active community groups that we work with in addition to our individual volunteers.


Jeremy Wallace said...

Do you find that the statistics for volunteerism goes up during a recession or down? I traveled some during a recent forced sabbatical and noticed that the national Parks seemed really full, even in the off-season.

I was just wondering because now that I am working(www.texvisions.com). I wish I was back at the parks volunteering.

Kevin said...

Sorry for the delay in responding (due to being temporarily locked out of administrative access to the blog). Nationwide, yes, we've seen an increase in volunteerism as people are out of work. Obviously the matter is complicated, because just because someone is working does not necessarily mean they have more time or motivation to volunteer. But volunteering is an excellent way to stay involved in one's community, and to gain the kind of experience necessary to reenter the workforce, and many people participate for these reasons. Our own statistics at Mount Rainier, interestingly, have not gone up as much as some other places, probably because during the recession, people are reluctant to invest in the travel expenses (mostly gas) to get all the way up here from population centers like Seattle.