Thursday, June 5, 2014

Volunteer Newsletter: June 2014

Last year's volunteers set up platform tents
in the Longmire Stewardship Campground
Upcoming Events

Saturday, June 7 - Longmire Campground Projects
For the last seven years, Mount Rainier National Park has hosted an annual volunteer event for geocachers, and their families and friends, asking their help to prepare the Longmire Volunteer Campground for summer use. This year, we have some special construction projects to make the day even more satisfying, and we need all the hands we can get. All our volunteers are invited to participate!

The first order of business will be to erect the platform tents which serve as housing for summer volunteers. Next, we'll move to construction of wooden picnic tables. Last fall, the Japan Volunteers-in-Parks Association built ten of these massive, old-style tables, but plans to build more in October had to be cancelled when the government shutdown occurred. We hope that volunteers at this event will be able to build as many as 15 more. The wood is on site, but we need the manpower. Please join us for this event!

Saturday, June 7 - National Trails Day and beyond
Mount Rainier National Park is pleased to welcome the Washington Trails Association back to Mount Rainier this summer. As in past years, WTA will be leading trail maintenance projects every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday into September. Check their website at and click the "Volunteer" link to find a list of events planned over the next couple of weeks.

Saturday, June 14 - MRNPA Trails project
This will be a trail maintenance project on the Wonderland and Glacier Basin Trails. Visit for details, and write to John Titland at volunteer(at) to sign up.

Saturday, June 14 - Adopt-a-Highway Litter Patrol
Mount Rainier's volunteers partner with the Washington State Dept. of Transportation to make litter patrols along Hwy 706 three times a year. For more information or to sign up, contact Crow at petrina_vecchio(at)

Thursday, June 19 - Ohanapecosh Amphitheater Painting
Volunteers are needed to repaint the Ohanapecosh Amphitheater in preparation for its reopening! We're looking for half a dozen physically fit volunteers. Contact Kevin Bacher at Kevin_Bacher(at) if you're interested in helping.
Saturday, June 21 - MeadoWatch and Basic Meadow Rover Training

The MeadoWatch training session to be held at Mount Rainier National Park headquarters is now booked to capacity, but if you would still like to attend a training session, two more will be offered at the University of Washington's Hitchcock Hall. The dates are Thursday, June 5th from 7pm-9pm and June 7th from 9:30am to 11:30am. For further details, please contact Anna Wilson at mwatch(at)

To register for Meadow Rover training, contact Maureen McLean at MORA_Meadow_Rovers(at) Rover training will run from 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m. and will be held at the park's Education Center at 55210 238th Ave E, Ashford, WA 98304. (Go straight in, past the first parking lot and through the open gate, to reach the Education Center.)

Sunday, June 22 - Advanced Meadow Rover Training
Advanced Meadow Rover training will be held at the Longmire Community Building. Please sign up with Maureen McLean at MORA_Meadow_Rovers(at) Details will be coming soon, so make sure you're on our Meadow Rover mailing list to receive more information! Camping in the Longmire Stewardship Campground is available to volunteers attending the training. Note that this advanced training requires either attendance at the Basic training or previous experience as a Meadow Rover.

Wednesday, June 25 - New Employee Orientation and All-Park Safety Meeting
All volunteers are invited to attend New Employee Orientation (in the morning) and an All-Park Safety Meeting (in the afternoon) at Columbia Crest Elementary School in Ashford. This is a great opportunity to learn more about Park operations.

July - Citizen Science Season begins
If you've signed up to participate in one of our Citizen Science programs, but haven't heard from anyone about it, don't panic! We're still waiting for snow to melt, and our Citizen Science coordinator won't even come on duty until later this month. Expect to hear more by e-mail soon. If you've received this newsletter, you're on our mailing list!

Road Construction 101 for Volunteers and Visitors

A road well-traveled aptly describes the historic Nisqually to Paradise Road. It is the most common entry to popular destinations in Mount Rainier National Park. Like most roads that you travel, it too requires maintenance and periodic repairs.

This year, the main focus is on the seven miles from the Nisqually Entrance to Longmire. Taking advantage of the best weather, construction began in March 2014 and will continue throughout the spring and summer months.

The road continually endures impacts from thousands of cars, buses, and RVs. It sustains damage from nature's forces: snow, ice freezing and thawing, rain, and more snow. The road is also impacted by fallen trees and the Nisqually River meandering too close.

Improvements to the road will preserve its integrity as a popular scenic drive and provide continued safe access for years to come.

Updates on construction progress and delays can be found on the Park's website at or on our volunteer blog at Updates are also posted on the Park's Facebook page or you may call the Park's main phone number (360) 569-2211.

The key word is "patience." Allow extra time to drive to your volunteer assignment and remember to be courteous to visitors who may also have been held up by construction delays.


What Else Has Been Going On

Welcome, and welcome back!
This is the time of year when the largest number of volunteers--both full-time and part-time--come on duty at Mount Rainier. If you've been here before, welcome back, and if you're new, welcome! We're glad to have you here as part of our team!

The Meadow Rover program is gearing up
Maureen McLean is back to coordinate the Meadow Rover program, so if you have questions, need training or want to reserve a campsite in the Longmire Stewardship Campground, please contact her at MORA_Meadow_Rovers(at) Lynn Kittridge will be coordinating daily Meadow Rover operations over at Sunrise, once it opens on July 3.

Ravens return!
The Emergency Roadside Assistance, AKA "Raven," program is back this year! Rob Barker, from Alabama, and John Grubb, from Maryland, are our road heroes this year, helping with lockouts, dead batteries, and other minor emergencies.

Webelos get it done
If you haven't seen the report on our blog, check out the work this group of young volunteers accomplished in the Longmire Campground! We'd love to see your own photos from volunteer activities all over the park, so send your pictures and videos, or links to them, to the Volunteer Program Manager at Kevin_Bacher(at) We welcome your stories, too!

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