Thursday, July 24, 2014
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
The August Mount Rainier National Park Associates trails work party will be on Saturday, August 2nd. The project will be at Narada Falls. The crew will be replacing two culverts just below the Narada Falls overview area. To accomplish this, there will be 30-40 feet of turnpike which will be constructed and filled with tread material.
The Narada Falls parking lot is a busy place this time of year. Volunteers who have spent Friday night at the Longmire VIP campground are asked to car-pool to Narada Falls. If possible, volunteers who arrive early on Saturday morning should go to the Longmire VIP campground and join the car pools forming there. As always, on Saturday, arrive at the Narada Falls parking lot between 8:30 and 9:00 and be ready to go to work at 9:00.
The work site is not far from parking lot so there will not be much hiking involved to get there, but bring your lunch and a raincoat anyway.
Following every August work party, MRNPA volunteers are invited to assemble in a nearby campground for some relaxed time together, a potluck dinner, and an evening spent sitting around the campfire. Plans are still forming for this event, so please stay tuned. Additionally free camping is available the Friday night before the work party and the Saturday of the work party.
If you plan to attend the August work party, and if you plan to camp one or both nights, please respond to volunteer(at)mrnpa.org. The trail crew leader needs an estimate of the number of volunteers to expect and the number of campsites required.
Saturday, July 19, 2014
Thursday, July 17, 2014
The August Mount Rainier National Park Associates trails work party will be on Saturday, August 2nd, two weeks away. The location has not yet been announced, so please watch this blog for updates.
Following every August work party MRNPA volunteers are invited to assemble in a nearby campground for some relaxed time together, a potluck dinner, and an evening spent sitting around the campfire. Plans are still forming for this event, based on the location of the work. Additionally, free camping is available both Friday and Saturday nights.
If you plan to attend the August work party, and if you plan to camp one or both nights, please contact John Titland at volunteer(at)mrnpa.org. Let him know the number of volunteers you are bringing with you, and if you plan to camp one or both nights.
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Mount Rainier National Park Receives 2014 America’s Best Idea Grant from the National Park Foundation to Support Student Conservation Association Youth Crews
Alanna Sobel, National Park Foundation, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-354-6486
Kevin Bacher, Mount Rainier National Park, email@example.com, 360-569-6567
Jay Satz, Student Conservation Association, firstname.lastname@example.org, 206-324-4649
Laurie Ward, Washington’s National Park Fund, email@example.com, 206-623-2063
|2013's SCA Community Crews were also funded,|
in part, by the National Park Foundation
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Join our stellar cast of volunteer astronomers outside the Paradise Jackson Visitor Center Thursday through Monday nights this summer. There will be telescopes available and knowledgeable guides to help you enjoy the wilderness of the night sky. Star-gazing will take place just after dark through at least midnight (weather permitting, subject to cancellation).
Tom and Gracie Pauly of the Starryhill planetarium (starryhill.org): Yes, they have their own planetarium and observatory! These retired teachers are top notch at helping people connect to the wonder of the night sky (Thursdays only).
Saturday, July 5, 2014
The next Mount Rainier National Park Associates volunteer work party will be Saturday, July 12th. This will be the annual Mount Rainier National Park Associates Exotic Plant Removal work party. If you plan to attend this work party and have not yet contacted John Titland, please reply to volunteer(at)mrnpa.org indicating that you are coming with the number of volunteers you expect to accompany you. The NPS Volunteer Coordinator needs to have an estimate of the number of volunteers who will attend.
The work party will be at the site of the new Carbon River Ranger Station, which is located a few miles west of the Carbon River Entrance of the park on the Carbon River Road. The ranger station occupies the building formerly known as the Carbon River Ranch.
To participate in the Exotic Plant Removal work party, there is no need to know all about native plants. NPS crew members will teach you which plants to remove, and they can help you identify the native plants of the area.
No heavy tools (like shovels and pulaskis) will be used, but you should bring work gloves, a small digging tool like a hand trowel (or your favorite weed-removal tool), your lunch, plenty of fluids to drink and a full set of rain gear. A warm jacket would be good to include. You may bring a reflective safety vest if you have one.
Meet at 8:30 AM in front of the ranger station. Be ready to go to work by about 9:00 AM and expect to finish about 3:00 PM.
Summer has shifted into high gear at Mount Rainier National Park, with all park visitor centers, campgrounds, and roads open except for Mowich Lake, and snow melting rapidly. Volunteers are busy all over the park, and there are opportunities almost every day to get involved in projects lasting from a single day to the rest of the summer. Here’s a look at our summer calendar:
Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday: Join the Washington Trails Association for a day of trail maintenance! Visit www.wta.org and click the “Volunteer” tab to find out where WTA is working. Next weekend they’ll be working on the Wonderland Trail near Longmire, and they’ll move higher as the snow melts. For future reference (since this year’s groups are already full), WTA also leads multi-day “Backcountry Response Teams” that go farther out into the wilderness for the ultimate “Volunteer Vacation” experience. This year’s teams will be working in late July and early September on the Wonderland Trail between Klapatche Park and Golden Lakes, arguably one of the most beautiful areas of the park.
Every Monday through Thursday: Stop in at the park’s Greenhouse, located at Park Headquarters between Ashford and Elbe, to help with planting, weeding, repotting, and other green thumb activities that help with the park’s native plant restoration efforts.
Saturday, July 12: The Mount Rainier National Park Associates (MRNPA) welcomes volunteers to help with their annual Exotic Plant Removal project. They’ll be working in the Carbon River corner of the park. Visit www.mrnpa.org for details and information on how to sign up.
Saturday, August 2: MRNPA will return for a trail work party, followed by a potluck and campout. Visit www.mrnpa.org for details.
Friday, August 16: Our annual Volunteer Picnic at Longmire! Join us at the Longmire Community Building at 4:00 for a potluck picnic and a celebration of all things volunteer!
Saturday, August 17: Our annual East Side Volunteer Picnic will be held at the Sunrise Picnic Area at 4:00. Bring your own grillables and drinks, and a side dish or dessert to share!
Saturday, September 6: Revegetation day! Join us to plant native plants in a restoration area near Sunrise. All are welcome! Visit www.mrnpa.org for details, or read our blog entry about last year’s project.
Friday, September 5 to Sunday, September 21: Help represent Mount Rainier National Park at the Washington State Fair in Puyallup! Staff our booth for a four-hour block of time, and receive free entrance and parking. Contact Jim_Ross(at)nps.gov to express your interest.
Saturday, September 27: National Public Lands Day is our biggest volunteer day of the year. Details are still being worked out, but volunteer options will probably include trail maintenance and planting in the White River and Sunrise corner of the park. Make sure you’re on our mailing list to receive details.
Every Day: You can contribute to research just by snapping photos! If you have a camera with a built-in GPS unit (including almost all modern smart phones), upload your pictures of flowering plants to help build a database of what’s blooming and when. Visit the MeadoWatch website to find out how!
Also Going On
As you explore Mount Rainier National Park, look for volunteer uniforms. You’ll see them almost everywhere you go! Here are some of the things currently going on in the park:
Student Conservation Association (SCA) Community Crews will be working on trails all over the park. Our first crew of high school students arrives July 6, and the last crew leaves August 31st. Crews are made up of students from Seattle and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, and are funded by grants from the National Park Foundation and Washington’s National Park Fund.
Washington Conservation Corps teams will also be working on trails from July 23 through August 31.
ArrowCorps, a project of the Seattle Boy Scouts of America, will be working on a variety of projects from August 5 to 7.
Volunteer Groups like Starbucks, the Sierra Club, Girl Scout Troops, and local High Schools can be seen working on trails and revegetation projects almost every weekend.
Interns from SCA, the Geologic Society of America, and local colleges will be joining seasonal park rangers and unaffiliated volunteers in the park’s visitor centers, and helping to conduct research in the field. The Visitor Center at Ohanapecosh is back open this summer thanks in part to these volunteers! Other volunteers offer night time astronomy programs at Paradise. In addition, “Teacher-Ranger-Teacher” volunteers will be here for several weeks, helping with educational programs, curricula, and our annual teacher workshop.
Emergency Roadside Assistance volunteers, nicknamed “Ravens,” patrol the Paradise area, helping visitors who need jump starts, air in their tires, or help retrieving locked keys. Look for the pickup with the volunteer program logo on the door. This year’s program is made possible by your donations through Washington’s National Park Fund!
Meadow Rovers form the park’s largest team of active volunteers, and patrol the trails above Paradise and Sunrise, assisting visitors and educating them about the importance of staying on trails and not feeding wildlife.
Backcountry Patrol volunteers are similar to Meadow Rovers, except that they venture farther into the wilderness areas of the park, and assist with backcountry trails and campsites.
Campground Hosts will welcome you if you stay at Cougar Rock, Ohanapecosh, or the Longmire Stewardship Campground.
Visitor Survey Volunteers will be seen handing out survey forms at several locations throughout the month of July. Thank you to everyone who signed up for this special project!
Citizen Scientists can be found all over the park, and are trained to perform very specific jobs that contribute to our understanding of Mount Rainier’s plants, animals, ecosystems, and climate. Amphibian Survey volunteers venture out to backcountry lakes and ponds... MeadoWatch volunteers inventory flowering plants... and Cascades Butterfly Survey volunteers tally butterflies on transects set up around the park. In addition, several people have signed up for a brand new Citizen Science project called the “Cascade Carnivore Project,” collecting wild animal scat on park trails.
Search and Rescue volunteers help out almost every time there’s a lost or injured hiker or climber in the park, and converge on the mountain from communities all over the state. We are extremely grateful for our Mountain Rescue partners and the many other volunteers who support them!
These are just a few of the many, many ways that volunteers serve at Mount Rainier National Park. If you cross paths with someone wearing the volunteer patch, say hello and thank them for their service—and ask how you can help too!
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
THANK YOU, both to all of the volunteers who showed up on short notice last weekend for Search and Rescue Training, and to the Visitor and Resource Protection Rangers who put on the training and welcomed volunteers to it! Here's a photo taken by volunteer Rob Barker, showing some of the practice that went on. The park is now safer (or at least better prepared to respond to an emergency) thanks to your efforts!