Friday, August 29, 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
I received this report Sunday from Meadow Rover Ed Hunds. It illustrates well the importance of our Meadow Rover volunteers as first responders not only to threats to our beautiful mountain gardens from off-trail tramplers, but also to incidents of public safety. Great work, Ed, Dan, and Brian!
Saturday I was working Paradise and I stationed myself by Glacier Vista. Most of the afternoon I spent assisting visitors, keeping them on the trail and off a snow patch that was attracting them off the trail.
Later that afternoon I was told that a small boy had injured himself at the snow patch. When I arrived I learned that an 8 year boy had fallen through the snow patch and landed hard on rocks below and sustained bruises to his ribs, shoulder and face. What the visitors couldn’t see (including me) was that the snow patch was mostly hollow and the snow was 3-4 feet about the ground.
I radioed for EMS, and a short time later, a few minutes apart two other rovers (Dan Purnell and Brian Carpenter) magically appeared to offer their assistance. Dan had even snagged a mountain guide along the way and brought him down to assist.
It was reassuring to know that other rovers quickly responded and were available to provide assistance. Fortunately the boy was able to walk out on his own.
Friday, August 22, 2014
Reminder; Our once a year (or two) production of the Shadows of the Past living history program is ( the 23rd). Lantern lit, ranger-led walks depart from in front of the National Park Inn at Longmire at , , , and . The walk travels about 3/4th mile and lasts about 80 minutes.
Thursday, August 21, 2014
Hi there! We are looking for lantern carriers to help with our Shadows of the Past program on the evening of at Longmire. There are four walks leaving from in front of the National Park Inn at Longmire between . The walks last about 90 minutes. We need at least three or four carriers per walk. Those carrying a lantern spread out during the walk and then move to illuminate the speakers from below during stops. There will be a volunteer sign-up form to "John Hancock" before you start that night.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Come along on a walk through history Saturday Evening, August 23rd at Longmire!
Contact: Park Ranger Curt Jacquot, (360) 569-6577
August 15, 2014 – On Saturday August 23rd Mount Rainier National Park will present Shadows of the Past, a “living history” program. Volunteers and staff in costumes will portray important individuals from the park’s past. The early story of Mount Rainier and the National Park Service from 1883 through 1916 will be told. Lead Rangers will guide groups along the Trail of the Shadows in Longmire. Historical figures will emerge from the darkness while volunteers with lanterns illuminate the scenes!
The free program lasts about 80 minutes. Admission to the park is $15 for private vehicles. Longmire is six miles east of the park’s southwest Nisqually entrance. Walks will leave (rain or shine) from in front of the National Park Inn at Longmire at 8:30 PM, 8:50 PM, 9:10 PM, and 9:30 PM. Those attending should bring warm clothing, sturdy footwear, insect repellant, and a flashlight.
Please note: Curt still needs a few lantern carriers to help with this year's Shadows of the Past program. Four walks will leave from in front of the National Park Inn at Longmire between 8:30 PM and 9:30 PM. The walks last about 90 minutes. We need three or four carriers per walk. Those carrying a lantern spread out during the walk and then move to illuminate the speakers during stops. If you would like to assist, contact Curt at the number given above.
Sunday, August 17, 2014
It's time for another Adopt-a-Highway litter patrol, and Crow is
looking for ten people who are willing to commit approximately two hours to this community service project. Duration of the event depends on the number of people who sign up...the more, the merrier (to a maximum of 12).
In 2012, Mount Rainier's Volunteer Program partnered with the Washington Dept. of Transportation by contracting to keep the two-mile section of SR 706 including the Park's Tahoma Woods frontage free of litter. In exchange for our services, Park volunteers are acknowledged by two big blue signs placed at either end of the patrol area. These signs benefit us by bringing our volunteers and volunteer program into the public eye, encouraging even more people to volunteer in the Park.
We will be gathering at Park Headquarters at Tahoma Woods, three miles east of Elbe on SR 706 on Saturday, September 6 at 10 AM, and work will go forward rain or shine. "Long-armed grabbers," litter bags, gloves and safety vests will be provided. You are welcome to bring your own gloves if you prefer.
In order to participate in the upcoming patrol, volunteers who have not already done so are required to watch a short training video which features a very young and goofy Bill Nye ("the Science Guy"). The video can be found on the DoT's website at http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/operations/adoptahwy/
To sign up for this Adopt-a-Highway event, contact me (Crow) at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than September 1 to confirm that you've watched the video.
Friday, August 15, 2014
In 2014, our nation is celebrating “50 Years of Wilderness”. On September 3, 1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Wilderness Act. This bill established the National Wilderness Preservation System and set aside millions of acres of wildlands for the use and benefit of the American people. The Washington Wilderness Act of 1988 further designated thousands of acres of land as wilderness, including the majority of Mount Rainier National Park is designated as a wilderness area.
In honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act, Mount Rainier National Park invites photographers to enter its 2014 Digital Photo Contest. To learn more about the contest, please visit our Flickr group at https://www.flickr.com/groups/mountrainiernps_wilderness50th/rules/
The annual Mount Rainier National Park Associates meadow revegetation work party will be Saturday, September 6th. That is the Saturday following the Labor Day weekend, a little over three weeks away. MRNPA volunteers will again be assisting the Mount Rainier ecological restoration crew in planting wildflower seedlings, working to convert a historic campground area near Sunrise back into alpine meadows. This year's seedlings need to be planted before the snow covers the meadows. September 6th will be a big day in getting this effort started.
On the morning of Saturday, September 6th, MRNPA volunteers will meet in the Sunrise parking lot between 8:30 and 9:00 AM. As you arrive at Sunrise, look for John Titland's dark green Subaru Outback Wagon. It will be parked in the far left (south) corner of the parking lot. Please check in as soon as you arrive so John can get a count and the names of all MRNPA volunteers. There will be volunteers from other organizations milling about, so stick close with the MRNPA group and be ready to move out at 9:00 AM.
Be prepared for almost any fall weather. In the past, these events have seen everything from warm and sunny days to a driving blizzard. In addition to your sun hat, sunscreen and your rain gear, bring a lunch, plenty of fluids to drink, gardening gloves, and a hand-digging tool you like to use. If you have no gardening tools, the NPS will provide small hand tools. Most of the day, you will be working on your hands and knees to do the planting, so you should bring some kind of protection for your knees. The pads available at your local gardening retailer work for most people. The work site is about a mile hike from the Sunrise parking lot, so plan on carrying everything you need to and from the work site.
This is a great outing to share with your husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend or even your kids. It is a beautiful location, It is also very instructive to see how much of the area has been replanted and how it is slowly returning to being a meadow.
If you would like to camp for free at the White River Campground the evening prior to, or the evening of the work party (or both evenings), contact Julie Hover, julie_hover(at)nps.gov and tell her which evenings you wish to camp and how many tent sites you will need. For free camping, arrangements must be made well in advance of the scheduled date.
If you plan to join the MRNPA volunteers on Saturday, September 7th, for this meadow revegetation work party, please reply to volunteer(at)mrnpa.org to confirm that you will be participating and indicate the number of volunteers that you will bringing with you.
Thursday, August 14, 2014
People driving too fast continues to be a problem in the Longmire Campground despite several Park-wide emails asking people to slow down. The matter came before the Safety Committee today, and members were asked to carry the message to their various Divisions. Additionally, volunteers who use the campground are requested to make a note of speeders' license numbers and vehicle descriptions, especially if the speeder is piloting a Park vehicle. If speeding continues to be an issue, warnings or citations may be issued.
Safety Committee Member
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Put yourself in this picture and "Share the Fun!"
Yes! The Washington State Fair is fast approaching. Last year park staff and volunteers talked to over 11,000 people and thousands more checked out our exhibits.
This year you have two opportunities to "Share the Fun."
#1. Staffing the Mount Rainier Booth: We would like to have two park people for each of the three 3 to 3 1/2-hour shifts a day. You will receive a ticket for admission to the fair and a parking pass (together worth almost $25). You can experience the fair before and/or after your shift. The fair runs from September 5th through September 21st. The Fair has changed the opening time on Mon-Thur so we have slightly different schedules on those days compared to Fri-Sun.
Mon-Thur: first shift 11:00-2:30, second shift 2:30-5:30, third shift 5:30-8:30.
Fri-Sun: first shift 10:00-1:30, second shift 1:30-5:00, third shift 5:00-8:30.
#2. Staff the Snowshoe Walk: On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from Noon to 6 PM the NW Outdoors Building and Mount Rainier National Park will be providing a snowshoe experience (mainly for kids, but adults can try too). The trail of straw will be in its own dedicated area. The trail will be an L-shaped loop about 30 yards long and will wonder around and through a native plant display, which we hope will also include a water feature. There will be two 3-hr shifts each day and we need at least two people each shift. It will be a busy, but quick, three hours. You will also receive a ticket and parking pass.
Fri-Sun: first shift noon-3:00, second shift 3:00-6:00
The park is an important part of the Northwest Outdoors Alliance. Our exhibits will occupy one of the largest spaces in the building. But the most important part is a real live person representing the park service, talking with all those enthusiastic fairgoers.
I hope you can help out. You will have a great time at the fair and I look forward to hearing from you. An email response would be best, since at this time of the year I’m seldom in the office. Tell me what activity, date, and time shift would work for you. Also please include your current mailing address so I can mail you instructions, maps, and tickets.
As in past years, park supervisors may allow their employees to do a shift at the fair on park time if the supervisor can make a day available. Including drive time and shift time it usually makes close to an eight hour day. Park employees who volunteer to do a shift on their own time may wear their normal uniform. Uniforms are not a requirement to volunteer.
Thanks, and we’ll see you at the fair.
Mount Rainier National Park
55210 238th Ave. E.
Ashford, WA 98304-9751
360-569-6568 (summer only)
Saturday, August 9, 2014
I have received some great suggestions for our Washington State Fair exhibit on Mount Rainier Wilderness. What I haven't received are great photos. If you have some super photos of Rainier wilderness please share them for possible use on our exhibit. Time is short so please help ASAP.
Please include location of each picture so it can be properly located on the map that will be part of the exhibit.
Here are examples of photos needed:
- Unique wilderness (I'm especially looking for a good photo of the natural bridge)
- Wilderness that can be enjoyed on a easy day hike
- Fantastic wilderness flower meadows (not Paradise, Sunrise, or Tipsoo Lake)
- Wilderness waterfalls
- Wilderness lakes
- Night sky from the wilderness
- Historic structures in the wilderness - lookouts, shelters, ranger cabins
- The summit and the route to it
- Camping in the wilderness (especially short distance camps)
- Wilderness wildlife (goats, mountain lions or other cats)
- Anything else you feel expresses the unique Rainier wilderness
Volunteer Picnics Coming Up August 15 and 16
Join us on Friday, August 15 at the Longmire Community Building or Saturday, August 16 at the Sunrise Picnic Area for our annual Volunteer Picnics! Both picnics begin at 4:30pm and are potluck, so bring something to share. The volunteer program will provide drinks, paper plates, glasses, and plasticware at Longmire, and will bring hamburger patties and veggie burgers at Sunrise. As in previous years, we'll be grilling at Sunrise, so if you have a portable grill to share, please let us know. Both gatherings will be an informal celebration of volunteer activities and a great opportunity to meet fellow volunteers, and are open to all park employees, as well as those interested in learning more about the volunteer program.
To give us a sense for how many people to expect, please RSVP for the Longmire Picnic to Kevin Bacher at Kevin_Bacher (at) nps.gov, and for the Sunrise Picnic to Lynn Kittridge at Lynn_Kittridge (at) partner.nps.gov.
Who Was That Masked Postcard Donor?
Mount Rainier National Park Receives 2014 America’s Best Idea Grant from the National Park Foundation to Support Student Conservation Association Youth Crews
Mount Rainier National Park is one of 39 national parks selected to receive a 2014 America’s Best Idea grant from the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks. Inspired by Ken Burns’ critically acclaimed documentary “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” this program builds partnerships between national parks and community, state, and other public organizations, and engages diverse audiences in meaningful and relevant ways with national parks and inspires participants to become stewards of our National Park System.
“The America’s Best Idea program connects people – particularly youth – to America’s national parks, often for the first time,” said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation. “Through meaningful and memorable in-park experiences that highlight the natural, cultural, and historical treasures in our National Park System, we are able to inspire the next generation of park-goers.”
“We want everyone to find themselves in a national park,” said Jonathan B. Jarvis, director of the National Park Service. “These National Park Foundation grants will help people acquire a better understanding of their national parks and, hopefully, of themselves, through place-based learning and recreational activities. Native Americans who will visit traditional homelands, budding scientists who will study environmental impacts, and students from Gallaudet University who will examine aspects of the Americans with Disabilities Act are among the many groups which will benefit from the grants.”
At Mount Rainier, National Park Foundation funding will support three teams of youth recruited by the Student Conservation Association (SCA) from communities in Seattle, and from Joint Base Lewis-McCord (JBLM) through SCA’s “Base to Base Camp” program. Eight high school students and two crew leaders in each Community Crew will spend fifteen days working on trail maintenance projects throughout the national park, repairing trail tread and building bridges at sites like Klapatche Park and the Wonderland Trail. This is SCA’s 20th year fielding Community Crews at Mount Rainier, and the third for its Base to Base Camp program. Eleven students from JBLM joined thirteen from Seattle on last year’s crews. This year’s crews will be in the park from July 6th through August 31st.
“We are pleased to have Community Crews back at Mount Rainier this year,” said Superintendent Randy King. “These young people play an important part in the protection and care of our national parks, and they also represent the next generation of park stewards.” Many graduates of past Community Crews have gone on to serve as seasonal or career rangers with the National Park Service or other agencies.
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).
Don West-Wilke: Our returning Tacoma Astronomical Society Astronomer of the Year. He annually records more visitor contacts than anyone in the park. One of the most knowledgeable and colorful astronomers in Washington. Sometimes called "the Singing Astronomer" (Saturdays only).
Pat Beatie: This Bellevue college astronomy teacher will be helping people connect to the night sky five nights a week (Thursdays through Mondays). He often also sets up a solar viewing scope during the day next to the JVC.
September 6: Planting Day
September 27: National Public Lands Day
Laura Davis is looking for volunteers to help conduct surveys to document the presence or absence of amphibian species at various lakes, ponds and wetlands with an emphasis on historical Western Toad sites. The surveys will involved hiking to predetermined sites and will be concerned with finding, identifying and measuring amphibians at all stages of development. You do not need any previous experience and surveying equipment will be provided. You may volunteer once or multiple times throughout the season. If you need to stay overnight, free camping is available at Cougar Rock, White River, Ohanapecosh and Longmire campgrounds. Longmire since is the closest to the meeting point. Both day trip and overnight backpacking surveys will be done throughout the park.
If you are interested in helping with this project, please contact Laura Davis via laura_davis(at)partner.nps.gov
What's Been Going On
BSA, GSA, MRNPA, REI, SCA, WNPF, WTA, and Starbucks (Oh My!)
To say that July and August have been busy with volunteer groups would be a bit of an understatement! Here's a quick and incomplete sampling of those who've been working with us this month. Our eternal gratitude goes to all of our volunteers who help keep their national park running in excellent condition!
Friday, August 8, 2014
Two of the Washington State's strongest companies are showing their love
for Mount Rainier National Park this weekend. In true partnership, REI
and Microsoft both have climbing teams attempting to summit Rainier.
Climbers have been raising money all year to benefit Mount Rainier
National Park's search and rescue, volunteerism, and trails. Funds
raised flow back to Rainier through our leading fundraising partner,
Washington's National Park Fund.
Washington's National Park Fund raises private support for Mount Rainier, North Cascades, and Olympic National Parks. They focus their efforts on improving visitors' experiences, science and research, volunteerism and stewardship, and youth and family programs. Over the past six years, more than $2 million has been given to Washington State's three largest national parks. 2014 promises to be a banner year of giving thanks in part to the climbers attempting to summit this weekend. Together, REI and Microsoft employees have raised more than $100,000.00.
Also in true partnership, the three climbing companies that provide guiding services at Rainier - Alpine Ascents International, International Mountain Guides, and Rainier Mountaineering, Inc. - have dedicated this weekend's climbs to Washington's National Park Fund. They are collectively helping the Fund in these fundraising efforts.
And one more beauty in all of this? The climbs will take place under this month's full moon. What could be better?
Thanks, REI and Microsoft! Thanks, Washington's National Park Fund! Thanks, AAI, IMG and RMI! Your support means the world to Mount Rainier National Park.
Thursday, August 7, 2014
|photo provided by Amy Mann|
She can be seen meadow roving at both Sunrise and Paradise, and in the winter months she is a snow rover in the Paradise area. Amy is glad to see an official snow rover program on the mountain and believes it is very much needed.
Ideally, Amy tries to volunteer once a week, “but I can’t always manage that.” She has over 600 volunteer hours so far.
When asked what gives her the most satisfaction as a volunteer, her answer is “Sharing the beauty and majesty of our backyard wilderness with others.”
The Tacoma branch of the Mountaineers also keeps her occupied. She has led hikes, backpacks and snowshoe trips for them and also writes the weekly hike column that the Branch puts in the Tacoma and Olympia newspapers. The columns started in June, 2004 and will conclude at the end of 2014 after more than 10.5 years!
What else fills her time? She does much traveling to the East coast and overseas to visit her children and grandchildren!