Sunday, June 30, 2013
Saturday, June 29, 2013
A highly visible team of Mount Rainier Volunteers patrolled a
two-mile section of Hwy 706 for litter today, sporting brand-new
ANSI-approved vests from the state Department of Transportation. The
crew participates in a partnership with WADoT's "Adopt-a-Highway"
program. Several members were returnees on their second or third work
party with the group.
Prior to every patrol, group members receive a brief orientation to advise them on the proper handling of certain dangerous items they may find along the roadside. While on their beat today, the workers encountered a suspicious container which they believed might have been a "one-pot cooker" used in producing methamphetamine. The location was reported and the object was investigated by a deputy who determined that it was not a meth lab.
If you wish to take part, we gather at , usually on Pennsylvania Ave., near Lynch St., one block west of the football stadium at Eatonville High School. The exact spot is different each year and is not known until we arrive. Just look around for some ranger hats. For more information contact Jim Ross at 360-569-6568.
Thursday, June 27, 2013
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Join Mount Rainier National Park rangers in the Eatonville 4th of July Parade! Last year the Town of Eatonville gave us the honor of leading off the parade as we remembered Rangers Margaret Anderson and Nick Hall. This year we would like to thank the folks of Eatonville for their support during that difficult year.
To give the town a proper thanks, we need park staff and volunteers, including scouts. We need flag wavers, sign carriers, "banner babes and dudes", and folks smiling, waving, and giving high-fives. If you normally wear a uniform, please do so for the parade.
If you wish to take part, we gather at 11:30 AM, usually on Pennsylvania Ave. near Lynch St., one block west of the football stadium at Eatonville High School. The exact spot is different each year and is not known until we arrive. Just look around for some ranger hats! Contact Jim_Ross@nps.gov if you'd like to participate.
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
The MRNPA will be holding its annual Exotic Plant Removal ("deveg") party on Saturday, July 13 this year. Although last year's project was done on the Westside Road, NPS leaders are currently evaluating this year's plant growth and the possibility of working at another area. The location will be announced when plans are firmed up.
Participants in the project are not required to know about native and non-native plants. NPS crew members will work with you and tell you which plants to remove, and will be happy to identify native plants for you as well.
You should bring are work gloves, a small digging tool like a hand trowel or your favorite weed removing tool. You will not be expected to use or carry larger tools like pulaskis or shovels. Also bring a lunch, plenty of fluids to drink, and dress according to the weather.
The crew will meet at 8:30 AM and will start work at 9:00 AM. Expect to finish about 3:00 PM. When you enter the Park, tell the ranger at the gate that you will be working on a volunteer project and you will be admitted to the Park for free.
If you plan to attend this work party, please reply to John Titland at email@example.com.
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Join Park Volunteer Don West-Wilke to learn about the National Park Service's
All viewing takes place in front of Jackson Visitor Center at Paradise
Day Sky viewing via a solar telescope
Night Sky viewing via telescopes and astronomy binoculars
Just after dark until at least
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Litter is an ongoing problem, and we want to have our gateway to the
Mountain looking nice for our Fourth of July visitors. Therefore, we'll
be conducting another litter patrol on Saturday, June 29 as part of our
partnership with the state Dept. of Transportation's Adopt-a-Highway
program. They limit us to twelve participants, so if you're interested,
sign up soon! Gloves, safety vests, bags and "long-armed grabbers" will
be provided. Hard hats are optional, so if you want to wear one, bring
your own. New participants must watch a five-minute DoT training video, available on line at http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/
Saturday, June 15, 2013
Storm debris has been accumulating in the Longmire campground for many years, and the customary means of disposal (dispersal) had proven to be less than effective. A ring of downed limbs and branches was building up behind the campsites faster than Nature could accommodate. Last year, two teams worked to bring the debris forward where it was hoped crews could be brought in to load it into drop boxes for removal, or alternately, that it could be chipped and distributed into the campground environment.
For the last two weekends, Volunteers have been hard at work clearing away the piles created by last year's work parties. On June 8, geocachers participated in their annual "CITO" event at the campground, and today (June 15), another team of nine individual volunteers gathered near the platform tents at 9:30 for a second assault. Four hours later, two 15-yard drop boxes had been filled to capacity, accounting for approximately 75% of the debris.
In another move to alleviate the problem of debris accumulation, volunteers and paid employees staying in the campground have been given permission to utilize wood from the piles for campfires. Some larger pieces have been stacked at various convenient locations. Please note that gathering of other wood in the campground is still prohibited! You may only use the wood which has been piled or stacked by the work crews.
Crow's personal gratitude as well as the Park's goes out to all the hard-working folks who have pitched in (literally!) on this project. Longmire Campground is now a much more pleasant environment, thanks to you!
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Chris Maser's "Forest Ecology" talk has been rescheduled for June 20th.
The time: 8:30 until noon.
The place: Longmire Community Building.
Feel free to join us! The presentation will include a walk around the Longmire Volunteer Campground.
Any interested Volunteer is invited to attend the annual All-Park Safety Meeting on Wednesday, June 26th. It will be held in the gymnasium of Columbia Crest School from 12:30-4:30 PM. Featured speakers will include David McEvoy and Jay Satz.
From the Safety Committee release: "There are causal factors that come up again and again when looking at why employees get hurt or die on the job. Two of these factors are risk normalization and understanding the difference between personal safety and standards of professional safe work habits while on the job...This presentation, led by two park partners who are career professionals with expertise in safe work analysis and accident prevention, will help employees define and mitigate these common human factors."
During the meeting, participants will be broken into work groups to engage in facilitator-led risk assessment exercises pertinent to their divisions. There will also be an optional fire extinguisher training at the end of the session. You must sign in at your division's table upon arrival for assignment to a group.
As some of you may know, we've been locked out of administrative access to this blog for about the past six months, due to a snafu in the conversion of our e-mail system to gmail over the winter. Some of you have noticed and commented that elements in this blog are out of date and haven't been updated, that links are broken, or that comments weren't being moderated and posted.
Well -- we're back! Administrative access has been restored, and I will spend the rest of this morning cleaning up the old errors. My apologies to everyone for the inconvenience. And if you have a blog of your own, here's the Lesson Learned: make sure you have more than one "administrator"!
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Good news, for those of you who missed the sunshine and camaraderie this past weekend -- we have confirmed a second weekend project to continue cleaning up storm debris in the Longmire Campground!
We will plan to begin work at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 15, meeting at the Longmire Community Building. (Turn past the old stone-foundation Administration Building at Longmire -- the one with the flagpole in front -- and cross the Nisqually River on the suspension bridge. The Community Building is a few hundred yard further along the river.)
The rumor about this project has spread, so we already have several individuals and families that are interested in joining us. If you'd like to do so as well, please RSVP to Kevin_Bacher@nps.gov or 360-569-6567. Also let us know whether you plan to camp. We can provide free campsites and access to the shower building. We also now have five platform tents set up that could be used, each with two cots. The campsites will hold RVs up to about 25' in length.
Our project will involve cleaning up winter storm debris -- we began the process this past weekend, but there are still sites and stretches of the campground road on the back of the loop that need to be cleaned up -- and gathering existing piles of storm debris to dispose of in a large bin for removal to a more appropriate site. We have wheelbarrows, rakes, and brooms. We have a small supply of gloves, but recommend bringing your own if you have them. Be sure to bring water, snacks, and a lunch as well. We'll work until the drop box is full, or until you all run out of steam!
See you there!
Monday, June 10, 2013
Saturday, June 8, 2013
A hard-working batch of geocachers and Mount Rainier Volunteers gathered together today in the Longmire Campground for the annual spring cleanup and installation of five platform tents which serve as temporary housing for volunteers throughout the summer months. The event was officially billed at Geocaching.com as a "CITO" (Cache In, Trash Out) and was the seventh annual gathering of this type at this location. The work went smoothly. Participants ranged in age from pre-school kids to senior citizens, each contributing their best efforts to the project. Go, Volunteers!
The Volunteer Program is hoping to enlist a second cleanup team to remove storm debris next weekend. Stay tuned to this blog for updates, and if you're interested in participating, please contact Kevin via Kevin_Bacher@nps.gov
Friday, June 7, 2013
"Mostly sunny, freezing level near 13,500 feet." That's the weather forecast for tomorrow in Mount Rainier National Park! If you're looking for something worthwhile to do on a gorgeous day, consider joining us for our annual Longmire Campground Opening volunteer project. We'll be setting up platform tents and picking up storm debris that has accumulated in the campsites over the winter. It's fun, low-key work, and only takes a couple of hours; by lunch time, we'll be ready to sit in the sun and eat our picnics along the Nisqually River.
As is our tradition, this year's campground opening is sponsored by local geocachers. However, the project is not limited to geocachers. And, it's also a great opportunity to find out about geocaching if you've been curious!
For more information, visit the geocache page for this event here. RSVP by sending an e-mail to Kevin_Bacher@nps.gov, or just show up at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 8. For those of you without GPS units, meet at the Longmire Campground. Enter Mount Rainier National Park by the southwest (Nisqually) entrance -- let the rangers at the gate know you're volunteering so that they don't charge you a fee -- and drive six miles to Longmire. Turn right just past the National Park Inn and follow the road marked "dead end" until it crosses a suspension bridge. A few hundred yards further you'll come to a small building and parking lot. Park there and follow the campground loop counter-clockwise to meet up with the volunteer team.
If you'd like to extend your weekend, consider camping in the Longmire Campground after your work day. Camping is free for working volunteers, and volunteers have access to the only public showers in the park!
We hope to see you there!
Thursday, June 6, 2013
The June 15th MRNPA trails work party hopes to finish up the project begun on May 18 repairing the Mine Trail at Carbon River, and would appreciate your help.
The Mine Trail trail begins approximately 1.25 miles from the entrance on the Carbon River Hike and Bike Trail. It is a .26 mile trail leading to an old mine once owned by Washington Mining and Milling Co. These days the mine is closed off, but the history remains. Trail work will include maintenance and widening and smoothing the trail tread.
MRNPA volunteers will meet at the Carbon River Entrance to Mount Rainier National Park at about 8:30 AM. Be ready to move out by 9:00. Park inside the gate, and please don't block the parking spaces available to the public. Bring your lunch and plenty of fluids to drink, work gloves and safety glasses and a full set of rain gear. A few vehicles will be used to shuttle people up the road.
Anyone using an aggressive tool (Pulaski, ax, shovel, etc.) or working near someone who is using them is required to wear a hard hat and safety glasses. Safety glasses and hard hat are strongly recommended but not required for people working with less aggressive tools.
If you can attend and have not yet contacted John Titland, please drop him a note at firstname.lastname@example.org to indicate that you are coming and tell him how many volunteers you are bringing with you.
Saturday, June 1, 2013
Longmire Campground Still Needs Hosts!