Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Finalizing plans for National Public Lands Day

Saturday, September 28, is National Public Lands Day: the biggest volunteer day of the year for us here at Mount Rainier National Park. In anticipation of the event, we've been planning a full set of projects, and our volunteer program staff have spent the afternoon walking our soles off getting prepared.

This year's events fall into two categories:

  1. Trail maintenance, in cooperation with National Park Service and Washington Trails Association crew leaders. It sounds like trail work is planned for the beautiful Golden Gate Trail and maybe a second location somewhere in the Paradise area. Yes, in case you're wondering, we did have a dusting of snow up there last night! It melted off pretty quickly today, though, and the snow level's forecast to stay high over the next few days. Bring gloves and layered clothing, but temperatures should be nice and cool for hard work.
  2. Restoration of the Longmire Campground, an ongoing effort that is coming tantalizingly close to completion. Saturday's work will fall into several categories: taking down the platform tents that are used during the summer season, and hanging them up to dry; disposing of the the last of the storm debris that volunteers gathered last year from 50 years of accumulation; cutting some of that debris into firewood for use by volunteers; doing a thorough trash pickup, including the remnants of an old kiosk that collapsed a year ago; tidying up some fallen hazard trees by lopping limbs; cleaning up the remnants of an illegal campfire ring; and propping up picnic tables and tent platforms for the winter.
Among these options, there should be plenty to do for volunteers of all ages and ranges of abilities, and plenty to keep us busy from 9:00 in the morning until about 3:00 in the afternoon. If the weather is poor, we may knock off early, but so far the morning of the event looks cloudy but dry. The work will go on regardless! It may also be dryer or wetter up here than it is at your home, so come prepared to stay dry. Here's a link to the National Weather Service's official forecast for the park.

And last but not least, remember that if you plan to camp in the Volunteer Campground Friday or Saturday night, be sure and send a note to Joshua Jones at to reserve a site.

We look forward to seeing you all this weekend!

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