Thursday, November 20, 2014

Climbers raise $140,000 for Mount Rainier National Park!

Now that our reports of volunteer program success and challenges are wrapping up for 2014, we're busy transitioning into planning for 2015! Yesterday I corresponded with CompassUSA about the possibility of working with new international volunteers. My duties this morning included writing a letter of support for a grant to expand some of the fantastic work our MeadoWatch program is doing to gather climate data with the help of citizen scientists. This afternoon, I've been working on nailing down planning meetings with Washington's National Park Fund and REI for a suite of volunteer projects next August.

The last of these deserves special mention, because this same collection of community partners earlier this year raised more than $140,000 for Mount Rainier National Park in the course of four fundraising climbs! Washington's National Park Fund supports projects in all three of Washington's national parks, and a good deal of their support goes to our volunteer program. This year, for instance, special grants paid for a pair of Emergency Roadside Assistance (nicknamed "Raven") volunteers, and the hiring of Maureen McLean to lead that and our popular Meadow Rover program. An estate grant made in 2010 by Raymond and Eleanor Wilson has helped pay for student interns, project supplies and uniforms, volunteer housing, and other essentials for programs all over the park for the last four years.

The fundraising climbs brought together all three of Mount Rainier's primary climbing guide services -- Alpine Ascents International, International Mountain Guides, and Rainier Mountianeering Inc. -- with Microsoft Corporation and Recreational Equipment Inc. You can read all about their experiences, and enjoy beautiful photos and videos, on a blog entry by one of the climbers and the Facebook page of another.

Whatever way you support Mount Rainier and its volunteer program -- through donations, direct participation, or following along on social media -- we appreciate your contributions in 2014, and we look forward to working with you in 2015!

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