Saturday, September 13, 2014

MVP Walt Reid

Photo courtesy of Walt Reid
Walt Reid, this month's MVP, has been a part of Mt. Rainier’s Volunteers-In-Parks program with his major contributions occurring after the Great Nisqually River Flood of 2006. As a retiree with a background in Forestry and time on his hands, Walt answered the Park’s call for volunteers to help repair and restore the damaged areas near the Nisqually River. He used the Park often and like many volunteers, considered it "give-back" time.

His various contributions include trail work, collecting wildflower seeds, transplanting seeds in the nursery, planting new vegetation around the new Paradise parking area, and digging out Sunrise from under the snow in the Spring. Not only that, he helps rope off restricted areas around Paradise that are still covered in snow, and he helps get the Longmire Campground ready for its volunteer guests in the Spring. He also helps with the Mount Rainier Volunteer Adopt-a-Highway program picking up litter.

As a native of Tacoma, Walt remembers taking trips to Mt. Rainier where he came to consider it "my mountain”. He graduated from the University of Washington and Yale University with degrees in Forestry and spent 41 years working for a local forestry company. After his retirement, his time was freed up to enjoy more hiking, snowshoeing and cross country skiing at Mt. Rainier. He has a cabin in the Ashford area which gives him easy access to the Park. When not at the cabin, he spends the rest of his time at a farm in Palouse.

When not volunteering at the Park, Walt belongs to an organization of US Masters Swimmers, a program for adults that provides opportunities for fitness and competition throughout the world. For the last 35 years he has been the keeper of the competitive swimming records in the USA and for the last 22 years he has served as the Masters Recorder keeping the competitive swimming records for the World Swimming Organization (FINA). This has given him the opportunity to travel to the Masters World Swimming Championships all over the world!

He was asked what in particular he likes about his Park volunteer work. His reply, “It gives me the opportunity to give back some measure of what the Park has given to me. I get satisfaction in knowing that I am making a difference and that someone appreciates what I have done. I also like the opportunity to spend time with some very interesting people.”

Walt also has a special message for Kevin Bacher, Volunteer Program Manager and Petrina "Crow" Vecchio. “I especially want to thank (them) for doing all the planning and organizing of the volunteers. They make it easy for us to know what is available, how to sign up and always give a big ‘thanks’ when the job is done."

~Jean Millan

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