Monday, November 25, 2013

2013 Volunteer Activity and Expense Report

Here, at last, is this year's Annual Activity and Expense Report for the volunteer program. As always, I will follow this soon with an analysis of where changes occurred between last year and this year, and why. From the outset, though, two things jump out: first, our total number of volunteer hours is down dramatically (from 74,615 last year to 62,736 this year); and second, our total number of volunteers remained almost steady (1,804 last year, 1,784 this year). A quick look at the numbers reveals that most of the changes are reflective of fewer full-time volunteer and intern positions. We had fewer full-time volunteers in the Paradise Visitor Center and Climber Information Center; fewer Emergency Roadside Assistance ("Raven") volunteers; fewer Historic Architecture positions; and so forth. Even if just a few positions are lost in each division, they carry with them thousands of hours of volunteer time. We lost a few thousand hours of volunteer time at the Ohanapecosh Visitor Center alone.

Most of these positions seem to have been lost for the same reasons that our numbers of paid staff have declined: volunteers are inexpensive but not free, incurring either housing, per diem, and vehicle costs, or commitments to the Student Conservation Association and other partners, and with reduced budgets, we've had reduced capacity. It is also likely that under Sequestration whole programs have shrunk, volunteers and all.

The silver lining is that, clearly, individual interest in volunteering has NOT declined. While we've had fewer full-time volunteers parkwide, our number of itinerant volunteers has remained roughly the same, in spite of the shrinkage of some programs. As revegetation opportunities have declined, citizen science opportunities have increased, for example, and our total number of volunteers this year is the second-highest ever, just slightly behind last year's number.

I will work on bringing these statistics and conclusions into sharper focus over the next few weeks, and will report further when I have more information. For now, here are the raw data!

Department of the Interior
National Park Service
Volunteers In Parks
Annual Activity and Expense Report
Mount Rainier National Park
Report Date: Nov 21, 2013
Fiscal Year: 2013

Volunteer Coordinator and Park Information

Total Volunteers: 1,784
Alpha Code: MORA
VIP Coordinator: Kevin Bacher
VIP Coordinator Phone: 360-569-2211
Coordinator Email:

Volunteer hours by category:

Administration: 441.00
Campground Host: 2,088.00
Cultural Resource Management: 7,832.00
General Management: 152.00
Interpretation: 12,922.50
Maintenance: 1,578.25
Natural Resource Management: 9,650.75
Protection/Operations/Law Enforcement: 27,481.75
Training: 590.00
[Total: 62,736.25]

Program costs by category:

Housing: $ 7,116.00
Meals: $ 2,237.00
Recognition/Award: $ 0.00
Supplies: $ 32,807.00
Training: $ 0.00
Transportation: $ 2,602.00
Uniforms: $ 4,372.00
[Note: Does not include spending on task agreements, including SCA.]

Volunteer Program Highlight

Mount Rainier's volunteer program suffered significantly under Sequestration in two ways: with less funding available, fewer long-term volunteer positions were filled (with accompanying per diem, housing, and vehicle costs); and several thousand hours of time were lost that had been associated with the now-closed Ohanapecosh Visitor Center. Still, the total number of volunteers remained close to previous years, indicating that while the park was less able to support full-time residential positions, interest in volunteering remained undiminished. In fact, volunteer opportunities continued to diversify, with now three different programs related to Citizen Science, for example. Another highlight of the year was the expansion of our partnership with the Student Conservation Association, through a Youth Partnerships Program and National Park Foundation grant, which included work with three Community Crews, two National Park Academy Interns, and one traditional intern, providing a "ladder" of youth volunteer experiences. Half of the Community Crew members were recruited from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, expanding our outreach to the military community. Finally, Mount Rainier bids fond farewell to the Japan Volunteer in Parks Association (J-VIPA), "retiring" from Mount Rainier after 20 years and 23,040 hours of service. Their contributions to Mount Rainier National Park will benefit us long into the future, and we wish them well with their new volunteer efforts closer to home in Japan.


How many people at the park require VIP Program Mgmt Training: 15

Optional Information Regarding Housing VIPS and Campground Hosts

Number of Campground Hosts: 8
Number of VIPs housed in Permanent Structures: 59
Number of VIPs housed in Trailers: 0

Trailer Pads for Volunteers: 6

Other Information

Number of SCAs: 38
SCA Hours: 7175.5
Number of Artists in Parks: 0
Artist in Parks Hours: 0
Number of International VIPs: 24
International VIPS Hours: 384
Number of Volunteer Senior Ranger Corps: 0
Volunteer Senior Ranger Corps Hours: 0
Number of Boy Scouts: 66
Boy Scout Hours: 433
Number of Girl Scouts: 0
Girl Scout Hours: 0

No comments: