Wednesday, April 30, 2014

MRNPA Work Party - May 17

The second Mount Rainier National Park Associates trails work party for 2014 will be held on Saturday, May 17th. That's a little over two weeks away. Trail crew leaders are still evaluating potential projects and will provide details in about a week. Keep watching this blog for updates!

The crew will meet at about 8:30 AM (location to be determined) and should be ready to move out by 9:00 AM.  When you enter Mount Rainier National Park, tell the attendant at the gate that you will be working on a volunteer project. Volunteers enter the park for free.

Be prepared to hike to the work site. Bring a lunch and plenty of fluids to drink, work gloves and safety glasses, and a full set of rain gear. During May, it is common to have rain or wet snow falling at Mount Rainier, so bring warm clothing as well.

If you plan to attend this work party, please reply to John Titland at volunteer(at) indicating that you are coming and tell him how many volunteers you expect to accompany you so that he can be sure there are enough tools to go around.

PLEASE NOTE: There are safety equipment requirements for all MRNPA trail work volunteers. (These rules apply to all trail workers.)  Anyone using an aggressive tool like a Pulaski, ax, shovel, etc., or anyone working near them is required to wear a hard hat and safety glasses. People working with or near less aggressive tools are not required to wear a hard hat, although it is encouraged.  If you own a hard hat that you can wear, please bring it.  If you do not have a hard hat, MRNPA and the NPS have hard hats to loan for the day.

Wearing safety glasses is encouraged at all times. Not all safety glasses are comfortable for everyone and some will not fit over eyeglasses. For health and safety reasons, please supply your own safety glasses for your personal use. A serviceable pair of new safety glasses will cost about $10 and may be found at hardware stores. Be advised that shatterproof eyeglasses do not meet the requirement for safety glasses.  Safety glasses have side protection which eyeglasses lack.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Wanted: Campground Host for VIP Campground

Although we have hired campground hosts for the Longmire Volunteer Campground for the first half of the summer, they have other obligations which prevent them from staying on past July 22. We are looking for someone to fill this position through late September.

Hosts coordinate the use of 31 tent sites, 2 group sites, and half a dozen Park-provided platform tents. They take reservations and assign campsites, and make sure guests are aware of campground regulations, ensuring that they comply with the rules while making sure everyone feels welcomed and supported. Duties include dealing with challenges as they come up (illegal campers, people who've lost their keys, loose dogs and so on), maintaining, cleaning and restocking a comfort station with three showers, and assigning/retrieving keys from campers, as well as keeping the campground free of camping litter.

If you are interested in being a Longmire campground host, please contact Kevin Bacher directly at 360-569-6567 for more information or drop a note to

Volunteer Brunch - Saturday, May 10

Late-breaking announcement! The Volunteer Brunch is less than two weeks away! This annual get-together will be held on Saturday, May 10, 9-11 AM at the Tacoma Mountaineers Clubhouse, 2302 N 30th St, Tacoma, WA 98403. Whether you are a returing volunteer or a new one, or if you simply are interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities at Mount Rainier National Park, we would be delighted to have you join us at this gathering. The event is potluck, so please bring a dish to share!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Adopt-a-Highway Volunteers Pick It Up!

A record crew of litter pickers showed up at Tahoma Woods at 10 AM this morning to patrol the two-mile stretch of SR706 between mileposts 2 and 4, a strip which includes the Park's Tahoma Woods frontage. In partnership with the Washington State Dept. of Transportation, Mount Rainier's fabulous volunteers contract to make three litter pickups each year, a detail which generally lasts two to three hours on each date. Quite a few of today's crew were new volunteers, eager to involve themselves in a project which benefits the community as well as the Park. The team of 13 brought in a total of 10 bags of litter. Former campground host Jean Millan provided a variety of munchie packs to each participant. Future patrols will be held in June and September.

Monday, April 7, 2014

MRNPA work party - Date Corrections

From John Titland:

The first Mount Rainier National Park Associates volunteer trails work party for 2014 will be on Saturday April 26th.  That's 3 weeks away.  There has been no determination yet where we will be working.  Quite a lot of snow has fallen in the last month.  The location of the project will depend on where the some of it has melted out.  We will know the location of the project about a week prior to the event.

If you already plan to attend this first MRNPA work party of the 2014 season, please reply to this email telling me that you are coming and the number of volunteers that you will be bringing with you.  The April MRNPA trails work party is always well attended.  But be advised that MRNPA trails work parties are limited to 30 volunteers, so signing up early may be a good idea.
Due to a scheduling conflict, the date for the August trails work party and weekend campout has been changed.  The date previously published was the weekend of August 9th.  The new date for the trails work party will be Saturday, August 2nd.  The campout will be on the evenings of August 1st and 2nd, with the potluck dinner on Saturday, August 2nd.

Friday, April 4, 2014

MVP - Pete Sabin

Pete and DiAnne Sabin at Mt. Fremont
Our first MVP (Monthly Volunteer Profile) features Pete Sabin. Pete has experience in several volunteer positions in Mount Rainier National Park and in his local community.
Pete’s story begins in 2006 when the Mount Fremont fire lookout was being rebuilt. He had heard from a friend that it would be helpful if someone was there to talk with the public so the carpenters could work without interruption. In Pete's words, “One day in early July I showed up at Sunrise and introduced myself to the lead ranger. Soon I had a new volunteer shirt, had been shown how to use the radio and was on my way to the lookout."

Most of his volunteer time has been as a Meadow Rover at Sunrise. Pete also goes to Mount Fremont and opens the lookout so the public can visit. He has also done some winter volunteering at Paradise, helping with and occasionally leading snowshoe walks. He has also helped out on the new Adopt-a-Highway litter patrol.

Pete is a member of a group of Park "old timers” who make several trips each summer to visit various sites in the Park to document its early history. “Among other things, we’ve visited many old mine sites, proved the existence of a long forgotten trail from Glacier Bridge to Paradise and located the sites of old buildings in the park,” Pete tells us. “My personal charge as part of this group is to focus on the history of the fire lookouts. I’ve been able to collect pictures and obtain stories from people who had been on the lookouts. This is an ongoing project that may always be in 'draft' form.” He has even received a letter from someone stationed at Mt. Fremont in 1943!

Pete’s family has had a lifetime connection to Mt. Rainier. He learned to ski at Paradise and worked on the rope tows while he was in high school. This led to summer jobs for three years as a Fire Control Aide in the Park. His first summer duty was in 1961 when he was stationed at the Gobbler’s Knob lookout. The next two years saw him at the Lake James patrol cabin and then the Mount Fremont lookout. It was during his third summer that he met his future wife, DiAnne, who was working at the Paradise Inn. She is also a park volunteer.

The park volunteer work is fun for Pete. He enjoys spending his time in an area in which he has some expertise. His volunteer work is not limited to the Park, however. He also volunteers in his community. Pete has been a soccer coach, a member of a ballet board, treasurer of a ski team, and president of a local athletic association, in addition to serving seven years on a district school board. He also taught a weekend skiing class for 47 years. Pete currently volunteers as an exercise instructor at a local Y when he is not at Mount Rainier.

~Submitted by Jean Millan, our MVP correspondent

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

MVP - Monthly Volunteer Profile

Who are our volunteers? There are a lot of names you'd recognize immediately, but what about the hundreds of other folks who are giving their time and energy to make the Park a great place to visit? Some of them only put in a few hours each year. Others may never be in the public eye, working instead at a desk, in the bowels of a workshop or out in the field. Wouldn't you like to meet them? Well, you'll have the opportunity soon!

Jean Millan, former campground host at Longmire, will be digging into the files to find people with stories to share: stories about visitor contacts, backcountry adventures or simply why an individual chose to be a volunteer. She will be interviewing people who work in a variety of positions, bringing to light many of the behind-the-scene jobs which help keep the Park operating smoothly and efficiently.

If Jean contacts you and you are willing to participate, YOU may be featured in our new Monthly Volunteer Profile!

If you have any questions or concerns, you may direct them to Kevin_Bacher(at)nps(dot)gov or to Crow, Petrina_Vecchio(at)partner(dot)nps(dot)gov