Monday, July 29, 2013

Volunteer Newsletter, August 2013

Mark Your Calendars!

Volunteer Picnics August 16-17!

The summer is just flying by, and already it's nearly time to celebrate the season with our annual volunteer picnics! Like last year, we'll be gathering both at Longmire and Sunrise. This year's dates and times are as follows:

Friday, August 16, 2013, 4:30 p.m., Longmire Community Building
Saturday, August 17, 2013, 4:00 p.m., Sunrise Picnic Area

Both picnics are potluck, so bring a dish to share (main course, salad, or desert). We will hope to set up a portable grill at Sunrise, as we did last year, for grilling hamburgers, hot dogs, veggie burgers, or whatever else you want to bring, but that's not yet confirmed, so watch for more details.

These are great opportunities to meet other volunteers and park supervisors, to celebrate the great work that's going on throughout the park, and to catch up on what's new. All volunteers, potential volunteers, paid employees, and family members are welcome!

On a Related Topic

For the last couple years there has been a steady decline in attendance and we volunteers would like to turn that around. We are interested in hearing from you with answers to some questions.

Do you regularly attend this event? If yes, what is it that keeps you coming to enjoy this special day to honor your work in the Park? If not, what would it take to bring you out for some fun?

What would you like to see included in the picnic?

Would a different month during the season work?

How does a themed event sound? Give us some ideas on this one if you have any.

One thing we would like to emphasize: THIS PICNIC IS FOR ALL VOLUNTEERS! This includes meadow rovers, citizen science, trail maintenance and repair crews, archives assistants, and everyone else who volunteers their time and energy to help out in Mount Rainer. Please send your responses to volunteer Jean Millan at cgcoastiechief [at]

Upcoming Events

Hey, did I mention the Volunteer Picnics?

Just in case you missed the memo:

Friday, August 16, 2013, 4:30 p.m., Longmire Community Building
Saturday, August 17, 2013, 4:00 p.m., Sunrise Picnic Area

Variety is the spice of life: pick your projects

The Big Day of Play in Seattle

Volunteers are needed to assist with Mount Rainier's participation in Seattle Parks and Recreation's "Big Day of Play" on August 24, 2013! Your role would be to help staff the park's booth along with Outreach Ranger Jim Ross, talking to visitors, answering questions, handing out information, and helping kids with activities. One to three volunteers would be great, especially if you live locally. Help out Mount Rainier National Park by serving in your neighborhood! This year's event will be at Magnuson Park.

If you'd like to help, contact Jim Ross at 360-569-6568 or Jim_Ross [at]

Trail Maintenance

All spots are filled for the August Mount Rainier National Park Associates trails work party which will be held on Saturday, August 10th. However, following every August work party, MRNPA volunteers are invited to assemble in a nearby campground for some relaxed time together, a potluck dinner, and an evening sitting around the campfire in the company of friends. Stop by and toast a few marshmallows at the Longmire Campground!

Weekend Information Volunteers

Needed: One or more volunteers to assist visitors at Mount Rainier National Park's White River Entrance Station on weekends.

Background: Due to limited parking at Sunrise, on busy weekends entrance rangers "meter" traffic at a rate of about 10 cars every 10 minutes. Lines of vehicles waiting to enter can get quite long. Volunteers are needed to walk among the vehicles wearing a safety vest, providing basic information, letting visitors know what's going on and how long the wait will be, and holding traffic for those who choose to turn around.

Perks: A beautiful setting, opportunities to meet lots of people from all over the world, free camping at White River Campground, and the satisfaction of assisting rangers at one of America's premier national parks!

Time Commitment: At least one day per weekend beginning ASAP and continuing through Labor Day.

Contact: Rene Ellis, 360-569-6628 or Rene_Ellis [at]

Revegetation at Sunrise

Revegetation at Sunrise is on the schedule for September 7. Volunteers are welcome! Please reply to in advance, and let her know how many people will be in your party. Other weekend dates may follow as we get closer to September. Be sure to follow the Volunteer blog!

Sky Viewing Continues

Our stellar volunteer astronomer Don West-Wilke is back for another summer season! Don will be setting up his telescope outside Jackson Visitor Center Thursday evenings through Mondayafternoons with additional telescopes and astronomical binoculars available for nighttime viewing. Daytime sessions will offer observers a chance to use a solar telescope. Any visitor, employee, partner or volunteer is invited to attend.
If you would like to volunteer to help with night sky viewing, please reply via email to Don will provide the necessary training to assist visitors with one of our many new devices.

What's Been Going On?

Radios For Rovers

The Meadow Rover program has obtained several more radios for use by volunteers this summer. As you may be aware, you must carry a radio with you if you are roving farther than half a mile from the Visitor Centers at Paradise and Sunrise. If you wish to reserve a radio, simply email with “radio request” in the subject heading. Unreserved radios will be handed out on a first-come, first-served basis.

WTA "Volunteer Vacations"

WTA will have two more "volunteer vacations" in the field at Mount Rainier this summer -- an adult crew at Indian Bar starting the 7th of August, and another youth crew on the east side of the park beginning August 11. And, of course, WTA leads day-long trail projects every week on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays: just check their website to sign up!

Longmire Campground

We are moving forward on a project to build new picnic tables and possibly to install new fire grates in the Longmire Campground. We hope that the timetable will allow J-VIPA to work with us on this restoration. Stay tuned for more information!

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